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Be s ant 

K. r. Blavatsky and the 
Masters of the Wisdom 











President of the Theoiophical Society. 


















Sixteen years and a halt" have gone since Helena Petrovna 
Blavatsky passed away from this mortal world. Yet attacks 
are still made upon her veracity, upon her character, and good 
and sympathetic men still turn away from the Theosophical 
Society with : " Oh ! I do not care to belong to it ; it was 
founded by Mme. Blavatsky, who was convicted of fraud by 
the Psychical Research Society." The articles which defended 
her at the time have long been out of print, and are forgotten ; 
Dr. Hodgson, the writer of the S.P.R. report, became a 
believer in phenomena far more wonderful than those which 
he denied in his youthful self-confidence, and also became 
himself the victim of misrepresentation and ridicule. The 
large circulation of Mme. Blavatsky's priceless works, the 
spread of the ideas which she spent her life in learning and 
teaching, the growth of the Theosophical Society which she 
founded at the orders of her Master, and with the aid of her 
colleague. Colonel H. S. Olcott, the ever-increasing literature 
published by her pupils — all these form her substantial 
defence, the justification of her life's work. But it is not 
right that the continued crucifixion of the Teacher should be 
regarded with complacency, while the world profits by the 
teachings, nor that she should be branded as fraud and 
impostor who brought to this age the truths now gaining such 
world-wide acceptance. It is but just that her defence should 
be obtainable so long as she is slandered. Therefore I — who 
reverence her as my first Teacher, and who keep her in my 
heart with unceasing gratitude as the one who led me to my 
Master, whom I have now served with ever-increasing thank- 
fulness for more than eighteen years — place here on record 
the facts of the past, with such comment as seems necessary. 

Helena Petrovna was the daughter of Colonel Peter 
Hahn, and the grand-daughter of Lieut. -General Alexis 
Hahn von Rottenstein-Hahn ; her mother was Helena 


Fadeeff, daughter of Privy-Councillor Andre Fadeeff and the 
Princess Helena Dolgorouki. The following letter — trans- 
lated from the French original, which lies before me — by 
Lieut. -Major-General R. Fadeeff, to A. P. Sinnett, Esq., 
c/o H. H. the Viceroy's Private Secretary, through the 
Prince Dondoukoff-Horsanoff, Governor-General of the 
Caucasus, testifies to her identity : " I certify by these 
presents that Madam Helena Petrovna Blavacki,^ now dwelling 
in Simla (British India), is, on her father's side, daughter of 
Colonel Peter, and grand-daughter of Lieut. -General Alexis 
Hahn de Rottenstein-Hahn (a noble family of Mecklenburg, 
settled in Russia), and, on her mother's side, daughter of 
Helena Fadeeff, and grand-daughter of Privy-Councillor 
Andre Fadeeff, and the Princess Helena Dolgouki,^ and that 
she is the widow of the Councillor of State, Nicephore 
Blavacki, late Vice-Governor of the Province of Erivan 

Major-General Rostislaw Fadeeff, 
Joint Secretary of the Minister ^of the Interior, Count 
Ignatieff, Attache of the Etat- Major of the 
Minister of War. 

S. Petersbourg, Little Morskaia, 23. 

18/30 September, 1881." 

With this was a letter, saying that a formal Government 
certificate would follow in a few days. 

Helena Petrovna was born in 1 831, and her aunt, Madame 
N. A. Fadeeff, writing in Odessa on 8/20 of May, 1877, bears 
witness to the marvels surrounding her from childhood. 
Madame Fadeeff states that she had herself always been 
profoundly interested in psychological phenomena, and had 
taken every opportunity of observing them. She proceeds : 
" The phenomena produced by the mediumistic power of my 
niece Helena are very curious and wonderful, veritable 
marvels ; but they are not exceptional or unique. Many 
times have I been told of, and I have often read in works 
dealing with spiritualism, sacred and profane, astonishing 
accounts of phenomena resembling those which you mention 
in your letter, but they have generally been isolated occur- 
rences, or coming from different sources. But so much force 
concentrated in a single individual — a whole group of the most 
extraordinary manifestations emanating from a single source, 
as in the case of Madame Blavatsky — that is certainly exceed- 
ingly rare and perhaps unparallelled. I have long known her 
to be possessed of mediumistic power, the greatest with which 

^AngUce, Blavatsky. '^Anglice, Dolgorouki. 

I have met ; but when she was here this power was in a 
condition far inferior to that which it has now reached. My 
niece Helena is a being quite apart, and cannot be compared 
with anyone else. As child, as young girl, as woman, she was 
always too superior to her environment to be appreciated at 
her real value. She received the education of a girl of good 
family. She was well brought up, but was not at all learned, 
and as for scholarship, of that there was no question. But the 
unusual richness of her intellectual nature, the delicacy and 
swiftness of her thought, her marvellous facility in under- 
standing, grasping and assimilating the most difficult subjects, 
such as would require from anybody else years of laborious 
study ; an eminently developed intelligence, united with a 
character loyal, straightforward, frank, energetic — these gave 
her such an unusual superiority, raised her so high above the 
ordinary level of the insipid majority of human societies, that 
she could never avoid attracting general attention, and the 
consequent envy and animosity of all those who, in their 
trivial inferiority, felt wounded by the splendor of the 
faculties and talents of this really marvellous woman. 

You ask what languages she has studied. From child- 
hood, in addition to Russian, her native tongue, she knew only 
French and English, Long afterwards, during her travels in 
Europe, she picked up a little Italian. The last time that I 
saw her, four years from that time, that was all she khew in 
the way of languages ; of that I am positively certain, I can 
assure you. As to the unfathomable depths of her erudition, 
at the time I speak of, four years after, as I say, there was no 
shadow of it, not even the least promise thereof. She was 
well brought up, well educated as a woman of the world, that 
is to say, very superficially. But as to serious and abstract 
studies, the religious mysteries of antiquity, Alexandrian 
Theurgy, ancient philosophies and philologies, the science of 
hieroglyphs, Hebrew, Samskrit, Greek, Latin, etc., she never 
saw them even in a dream. I can swear to it. She had not 
the least idea of the very alphabet of such things." 

To return : Helena Petrovna was married, as a girl of seven- 
teen, to an old man, and promptly took flight from her husband, 
on discovering what marriage meant, and roamed about the 
world in search of knowledge. In August, 1851, we find her in 
London, and there, on a moonlight night, as her diary tells us, 
beside the Serpentine, " I met the Master of my dreams." He 
then told her that he had chosen her to work in a society, and 
some time afterwards, with her father's permission, she went 
into training for her future mission, passing through seven and 
ten years of probation, trial and hard work. Mme. FadeefF may 

again help us. She writes from Paris, under date June 26th, 
1884 : " I wrote to Mr. Sinnett two or three years ago, in 
answer to one of his letters, and I think that I told him what 
occurred in connection with a letter received by me phenom- 
enally, when my niece was on the other side of the world, or 
when, to speak the fact, no one knew where she was— which 
was exactly the thing that troubled us. All our enquiries had 
ended in nothing. We were ready to believe her dead, when 
— I think in the year 1870, or soon after— I received a letter 
from the Being whom you call, I think, Koot-Hoomi, which 
was brought to me in the most incomprehensible and 
mysterious way, in my own house, by a messenger with an 
Asiatic face, who vanished before my eyes. This letter, which 
begged me not to be anxious and assured me that she was 
safe, is still in my possession, but at Odessa. When 1 return 
I will forward it to you, and I shall be very glad if it is of use 
to you. Excuse me, but is difficult, almost impossible, for me 
to believe that there can be people sufficiently stupid to think 
that either my niece, or yourself, invented the men whom you 
call Mahatmas. 

" I do not know if you have long known them personally, 
but my niece spoke to me about them, and that very fully, 
years ago. She wrote to me that she had seen and reknitted 
her connection with several of them before she wrote her Isis. 
Why should she have invented these personages ? With 
what object ? and what good could they do her if they did not 
exist ? Your enemies are neither wicked nor dishonest, I 
think ; they are, if they accuse you of that, only idiotic. If I, 
who am, I hope, to remain to my death a fervent Christian, 
believe in the existence of these men — though not in all the 
miracles alleged about them — why should not others believe ? 
I can certify to the existence of one of them, at least. Who 
could have written to reassure me in the moment when I most 
needed such reassurance, if it were not one of these Adepts 
they talk of ? It is true that I do not know the writing, but 
the way in which it was delivered to me was so phenomenal 
that no one, save an adept in occult science, could have 
accomplished it. It promised me the return of my niece, and 
the promise was fulfilled. Anyhow, I will send it to you in a 
fortnight, and you will receive it in London." 

The letter was duly forwarded ten days later, enclosed in 
a note from Madame Fadeeff ; it was written on Chinese rice- 
paper, " backed with the glassy hand-made paper one sees in 
Kashmir and the Panjab, and enclosed in an envelope of the 
same paper. The address is : ' To the Honourable, Very 
Honourable, Lady Nadejka Andriewna Fadeeff, Odessa.' In 

one corner, in the handwriting of Madame FadeefT, is the note 
in the Russian language in pencil, ' Received at Odessa, 
November yth, about Lelinka (H.P.B.'s pet name), probably 
from Tibet. November nth, 1870, Nadejka F.' The note 
says : ' The noble relatives of Madame H. Blavatsky have no 
cause to mourn. Their daughter and niece has not departed 
from this world. She lives, and wishes to make known to 
those she loves, that she is well, and feels very happy in the 
distant and unknown retreat that she has chosen. . . Let 
the ladies of her family comfort themselves. Before 18 new 
moons have risen, she will have returned to her home.' Both 
the note and the envelope are written in the now familiar 
handwriting of the Mahatma K.H." ^ 

The following dates are taken from a scrap of paper, found 
at Ailyar, in a writing I do not recognise, and unsigned. I 
give them for what they are worth. 

In 1848, immediately after her marriage, she left the 
Caucasus and went to Egypt, travelling with the Countess 
Kiselef. She visited Athens, Smyrna and Asia Minor, and 
made her first effort to enter Tibet, but failed. In 1853, at the 
time of the visit of the Nepaulese Embassy to London (but in 
1 85 1, according to her own diary), she was in London, and met 
there her Master. Thence she went to South America, and 
through the Pacific islands to India, and made her second 
ineffectual attempt to enter Tibet. She returned to England, 
via China, Japan and America, about 1853. She then travelled 
to the United States and Central America, and back to England 
in 1855 or '56. Thence she again went to India, via Egypt, 
and just before the outbreak of the Sepoys she made her third 
unsuccessful attempt to enter Tibet. She then disappears, 
turning up in Russia at the end of 1858 or beginning of 1859. 
She was in Tiflis from 1861 to 1863, and then went to Egypt, 
and thence to Persia, crossing over Central Asia and pene- 
trated to Tibet about 1864. She paid a flying visit to Italy in 
1866, and then back to India and the north, to the Kumlun 
mountains and Lake Palti and Tibet. She returned to Odessa, 
via Egypt and Greece, in 1872. 

In 1872, according to the Theosophist, Madame Blavatsky 
was shipwrecked, and was given help and shelter, while 
awaiting remittances from Russia, by some people who were 
to work her much harm in later days — the Coulombs, then 
keeping a hotel in Cairo, Egypt. Madame Coulomb seems 
to have been a medium, and to have interested Madame 
Blavatsky. Their acquaintance was brief, for the latter 

1 Report of the Result 0/ an Investigation into the charges against Madame 
Blavatsky, Pp. 95, 96. 

shortly went on to Russia, and thence to France and America, 
meeting in the latter country Colonel Olcott, with whom, on 
November 17th, 1875, she founded, in pursuance of the order 
she had received, the Theosophical Society. The story of that 
time may be read in the Old Diary Leaves,'^ by Colonel Olcott, 
wherein is given an account of her extraordinary powers, and 
of the phenomena which surrounded her. From America, the 
two founders came to India, and fixed their headquarters for a 
time in Bombay. There Madame Blavatsky received a letter 
from Madame Coulomb, dated June loth, 1879, telling her of 
the troubles she had passed through, and begging her to lend 
her Rs. 200^. In the late spring of 1880, she and her husband 
came to Bombay in great poverty, and Madame Blavatsky 
took pity on them and helped them, afterwards establishing 
them in the headquarters at Adyar, M. Coulomb as librarian 
and man-of-all-work — for the library was in the future — and 
Madame Coulomb as housekeeper and caretaker. 

The work of Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in 
India is well known; the same marvels surrounded her in India 
as in America, and, joined to her wonderful insight into the 
truths underlying all religions, and her intense love for India, 
"the motherland of my Master," drew round her crowds of the 
cultured classes of India. Here, again, the Old Diary Leaves 
may be read by those who desire to see the evidence for the 
extraordinary strength and range of her occult powers. Her 
brilliant articles in the Theosophist show her knowledge, and 
the frequent appearances of the Masters and Their constant 
communications with her, and with those around her, became 
widely known. Mr. Sinnett in his Occult World, has placed on 
record his own experiences and those of the circle round him ; 
perhaps the greatest phenomenon of all was the change effected 
in this sceptical Anglo-Indian, the Editor of the Pioneer, who, 
by his contact with the Master K.H., into which he was 
brought by Madame Blavatsky, became His faithful and loyal 
disciple, steadfastly serving him through all vicissitudes. ^ 

If human evidence can ever substantiate a fact, the fact 
of the appearance of the Masters, and of the communications 
received from Them during these years, is placed beyond the 
possibility of doubt. Let me take a few at random. Mr. S. 

1 It would be useless to fill these pages with quotations from books 
now in circulation, and which can be consulted by anyone wishing to 
know the facts. 

2 Rtport of the Result, etc. Pp. 131, 132. 

3 As already said, I am not giving here evidence open to all in books 
now in circulation ; any serious student can study The Occult World, with 
its invaluable information, for himself. 

Rimasvamier, a District Registrar, on December ist., 1881, 
gave a note in a closed envelope to Madame Blavatsky, and then 
went out for a drive with her, Colonel Olcott and Damodar ; 
on returning to the house they all saw, leaning over the 
balcony, a man, recognised by the Colonel and Damodar as 
Madame Blavatsky 's Master; He raised His hand and dropped 
a letter to the ground ; it was written in Tibetan characters, 
and was an answer to the note of Mr, Ramasvamier, who 
certifies, under date December 28th, 1881, that Madame 
Blavatsky was not out of his sight from the moment he gave 
her his note to the time he saw the figure drop the answer. ^ 
Mr. and Mrs. Scott — Mr. Scott was a civil servant in India 
who rose to the position of Judicial Commissioner of Oudh — 
Colonel Olcott, Madame Blavatsky, Mr. M. Murad Ali JBeg, 
Mr. Damodar K, Mavalankar, and Paijdit Bhavani 
Shankar, were sitting together on a balcony, from which the 
library in partial darkness, and a room beyond brilliantly 
lighted, were visible. Mr. Scott saw a man, whom he 
recognised from His portrait, as Master M., step into the lighted 
room ; all saw Him clearly ; He walked towards a table, and on 
that, subsequently, a letter was found m the familiar writing. ^ 
Colonel Olcott writes, under date 30th September, 1881 ; 
" This same Brother once visited me in the flesh at Bombay, 
coming in full daylight and on horseback. He had me called 
by a servant into the front room of H. P. B.'s bangalow (she 
being at the time in the other bangalow, talking with those who 
were there). He came to scold me roundly for something I 
had done in T. S. matters, and as H. P. B. was also to blame, 
He telegraphed to her to come, that is to say He turned His face 
and extended His finger in the direction of the place she was 
in. She came over at once with a rush, and seeing Him 
dropped on her knees and paid Him reverence. My voice and 
His had been heard by those in the other bangalow, but only 
H. P. B. and I, and the servant saw Him. Another time two, if 
not three persons, sitting in the verandah of my bangalow in the 
Girgaum compound, saw a Hindu gentleman ride in, dismount 
under H. P. B.'s portico and enter her study. They called me, 
and I went and watched the horse until the visitor came out, 
remounted and rode off. That also was a Brother in flesh and 
bones." ^ 

During this time M. and Mme. Coulomb were living in 
the Bombay Headquarters, and Mme. Coulomb, as a Spiritual- 
ist, was not sceptical as to the reality of the phenomena, but, 

1 Hints on Esoteric Philosophy. Pp. 72, 73. 

2 Ibid. Pp. 74-76. 

3 Ibid. P. 80. 


as a fanatical and superstitious Christian, she considered them — 
they being so connected with non-Christians — as the work of 
the devil. Mr. Martandrao B. Nagnath, who was much with 
the founders at Bombay from 1879 to i88g, records instances 
of his seeing the "generally unseen Brothers of the ist 
Section of the Theosophical Society." (The Theosophical 
Society, in its early days, was organised in three sections, the 
first section consisting of the Masters.) In 1881, he, with 
three brother Theosophists, was talking with Mme. Blavatsky, 
Mme. Coulomb being also present, when they saw the Master 
K. H. " about eight or ten yards distant." " He was wearing 
a white loose gown or robe, with long wavy hair and a beard ; 
and was gradually forming, as it were, in front of a shrub or 
number of shrubs, some twenty or thirty yards away from us, 
until He stood to a full height. Mme. Coulomb was asked in 
our presence by Mme. Blavatsky: 'Is this good Brother a 
devil ? ' as she used to think and say so, when seeing the 
Brothers, and was afraid. She then answered : ' No, this one 
is a man.' He then showed His full figure for about two or 
three minutes, then gradually disappearing, melting away into 
the shrub." This statement, which contains an account of 
various other phenomena, is dated Bombay, 14th February, 
1882.^ It is confirmed by Pandit Bhav^ni Shankar.^ 

After the Headquarters of the Society were moved to Adyar, 
Madras (Dec. 30th, 1882), similar appearances of the Masters 
frequently took place : it was a household custom for the 
workers to gather on the flat roof in the evening, and thither, 
now and again, would come a Master visibly, and graciously 
talk with and instruct them. On this, Mr. C. W. Leadbeater, 
who was working at Adyar and elsewhere in India and Ceylon 
for the Society from 1884 to 1888, writes as follows : " I am 
very glad to testify that I have on many occasions seen the 
Masters appear in materialised form at the Headquarters at 
Adyar. Under such conditions I have seen the Master M., the 
Master K. H., the Master D. K., and also another member of 
the Brotherhood, besides one or two pupils who acted as 
messengers. Such appearances occurred sometimes on the flat 
roof of the main building, sometimes in my own room by the 
riverside, and on several occasions in the garden. The 
materialisations were frequently maintained for twenty 
minutes, and on at least two occasions for considerably over 

These appearances of the Masters were not, however, 
confined to the Headquarters at Bombay and at Madras. 

^Hints on Esoteric Philosophy. P. 105. ^Report 0/ the Result, etc. Pp. 76, 77. 


Mr. T. Brown states the following in My Experiences in 
India. " Lahore has a special interest, because there we saw, 
in his own physical body, Mahatma Koot Hoomi himself. On 
the afternoon of the igth November, I saw the Master in 
broad daylight, and recognised him, and on the morning of the 
20th he came to my tent and said : ' Now you see me before 
you in the flesh : look, and assure yourself that it is I,' and 
left a letter of instructions and a silk handkerchief, both of 
which are now in my possession. The letter is as usual 
written seemingly with blue pencil, is in the same handwriting 
as that in which is written the communication received at 
Madras, and has been identified by about a dozen persons as 
bearing the caligraphy of Mahatma Koot Hoomi. The letter 
was to the effect that I had first seen him in visions, then in 
his astral form, then in body at a distance, and that finally I 
now saw him in his own physical body, so close to me as to 
enable me to give to my countrymen the assurance that I was, 
from personal knowledge, as sure of the existence of the 
Mahatmas as I was of my own. The letter is a private one, 
and I am not enabled to quote from it at length. On the 
evening of the 21st, Colonel Olcott, Damodar and I were 
sitting outside the shamiana, when we were visited by .... 
(the Master's head Chela, now an Initiate), who informed us 
that the Master was about to come. The Master then came 
near to us, gave instructions to Damodar, and walked away. "^ 

Of this same visit to Lahore, November, 1883, Damodar 
himself gives many details. Of the Mahatma K.H. he says: 
" There I was visited by Him in body, for three nights 
consecutively, for about three hours every time, while I 
myself retained full consciousness, and in one case even went 
to meet Him outside the house. Him whom I saw in person 
at Lahore was the same I had seen in astral form at the 
Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, and the same again 
whom I, in visions and trances, had seen at His house, 
thousands of miles off, to reach which in my astral Ego I was 
permitted, owing, of course, to His direct help and protection. 
In those instances, with my psychic powers hardly developed 
yet, I had always seen Him as a rather hazy form, although 
His features were perfectly distinct, and their remembrance 
was profoundly graven on my soul's eye and memory. While 
now at Lahore, Jammu, and elsewhere, the impression was 
utterly different. In the former cases, when making pranam 
(salutation) my hands passed through His form, while on the 
latter occasions they met solid garments and flesh. Here I 

'^■Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 74, 75. 


saw a living man before me, the same in features, though far 
more imposing in His general appearance and bearing than 
Him I had so often looked upon in the portrait in Mme. 
Blavatsky's possession, and in the one with Mr. Sinnett. I 
shall not here dwell upon the fact of His having been 
corporeally seen by both Colonel Olcott and Mr. Brown 
separately, for two nights at Lahore, as they can do so better, 
each for himself, if they so choose. At Jammu again, where 
we proceeded from Lahore, Mr. Brown saw Him on the 
evening of the third day of our arrival there, and from Him 
received a letter in His famihar handwriting, not to speak of 
His visits to me almost every day, and what happened the 
next morning almost everyone in Jammu is aware of. The 
fact is, that I had the good fortune of being sent for, and 
permitted to visit a sacred Ashrama, where I remained for a 
few days in the blessed company of several of the Mahatmas 
of Himavat and Their disciples. There I met not only my 
beloved Gurudeva and Colonel Olcott's Master, but several 
others of the Fraternity, including one of the highest. I 
regret the extremely personal nature of my visit to those 
regions prevents my saying more of it. Suffice it that the 
place I was permitted to visit is in the Himalayas, not in any 
fanciful summer land, and that I saw Him in my own 
sthCilasharira (physical body), and found my Master identical 
with the form I had seen in the earlier days of my Chelaship. 
Thus I saw my beloved Guru not only as a living man, but 
actually as a young one in comparison with some other Sadhus 
of the blessed company, only far kinder, and not above a 
merry remark and conversation at times. Thus, on the second 
day of my arrival, after the meal hour, I was permitted to 
hold an intercourse for over an hour with my Master. Asked 
by Him smilingly what it was that made me look at Him so 
perplexed, I asked in my turn : " How is it. Master, that some 
of the members of our Society have taken into their heads a 
notion that you were ' an elderly man,' and that they have 
even seen you clairvoyantly, looking an old man past sixty ? ' 
To which He pleasantly smiled and said that this latest mis- 
conception was due to the reports of a certain Brahmachari, a 
pupil of a Vedantic Svami in the N.W.P., who had met last 
year in Tibet the chief of a sect, an elderly Lama, who was 
His (my Master's) travelling companion at that time. The 
said Brahmachari, ha\ing spoken of the encounter ir India, 
had led several persons to mistake the Lama for Himself. 
As to His being perceived clairvoyantly as ' an elderly man,' 
that could never be. He added, as real clairvoyance could lead 
no one into such a mistaken notion, and then He kindly 


reprimanded me for giving any importance to the age of a 
Guru, adding tliat appearances were often false, etc., and 
explaining other points." ^ 

Pandit Bhavani Shankar says that while travelling in the 
North in the spring of 1884, Mahatma M. was seen by Mr. 
Nivaran Chandra Mukerii and himself, in His astral body, at 
a Branch meeting, and goes on : " I have seen the same 
Mahatma, viz., Madame Blavatsky's Master, several times in 
His double durin^i' my travels in the North. Not only have I 
seen Madame Blavat^ky's Master in His double, but also my 
venerated Gurudeva K.H. I have also seen the latter, viz., 
my Master, in His physical body, and recognised Him." 2 

Mr. Mohini M. Chatterji. writing on September 30th, 1884, 
says : " To a Br^hmana, like myself, it is repugnant to speak 
of the sacredly confidential relationship existing between a 
spiritual teacher and his pupil. Yet, duty compels me in this 
instance to say thac I have personal and absolute knowledge 
of the existence of the Maliatma, who has corresponded with 
Mr. Sinnett, and is known to the Western world as ' Koot 
Hoomi.' I had knowledge of the Mahatma in question before 
I knew Mme. Blavatsky, and I met Him in person when He 
passed through the Madras Presidency to China— last year." ' 

Mr. S. Ramasvamier, setting off to Tibet in search of his 
Guru, was met on the road to Sikkim by "a solitary horseman, 
galloping towards me from the opposite direction. ... As 
He approached me. He reined in His steed. I looked at Him, 
and recognised Him instantly. I was in the presence of the 
same Mahatma, my own revered Guru, whom I had seen 
before in His astral body, on the balcony of the Theosophical 
Headquarters. It was He of the ever-memorable night of 
December ist, who had dropped a letter in answer to one I 
had given in a sealed envelope to Madame Blavatsky — whom 
Phad never for one moment during the interval lost sight of — 
but an hour or so before. ... I was at last face to face 
with the 'Mahatma of the Himavat,' and He was no myth, no 
' creation of the imagination.' It was not night ; it was 
between nine and ten o'clock of the forenoon. My happiness 
made me dumb." * Mr. R. Casava Pillai also, near Sikkim, 
" saw the Mahatmas in their physical bodies, and found them 
to be identical with those whoin he had seen in dreams and 
visions, or in astral form as above stated " (in Bombay). ^ 

1 Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 82-84. 

s Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 79, 80. 3 fi,ij p. y^ 

* Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 85, 86. 

6 Ibid. P. 89 


Here we have a number of independent witnesses, bearing 
testimony to their meeting these same Masters in the flesh. 

Leaving now the direct manifestations of the Masters, I 
select from among the numerous communications received in 
a superphysical manner from Them, the following, merely as 
illustrations: at Bombay, on the 2nd February, 1882, the 
Hon. J. Smith, member of the Legislative Council, N.S.W., 
Professor in Sydney University, went with Madame Blavatsky 
into his own bedroom, he having first entered it alone and 
seen that it was as usual ; they sat down together, and in domg 
so " she took my hands in both of hers. In a few seconds a 
letter fell at my feet. It seemed to me to appear first a little 
above the level of my head. On opening the envelope I found 
a sheet of note-paper headed with a Government stamp of the 
North- Western Provinces and Ouilh, and the following words 
written with red pencil, in exactly the same hand-writing as 
that in the letters of the previous evening : ' No chance of 
writing to you inside your letters, but I can write direct. 
Work for us in Australia, and we will not prove ungrateful, 
but will prove to you our actual existence, and thank you.' A 
fair review of the circumstances excludes, in my opinion, any 
theory of fraud. J. Smith." Prof. Smith, later, writing from 
Nice to Madame Blavatsky, under date of January 31st, 
1883, gives the following account of a communication 
received by him: "You think that my note to M. was a failure, 
but let me now tell you the facts. You may remember that 
you concluded your letter with a P. S. requesting me not to be 
angry with the Brother. This was followed by a few words 
in red ink in M.'s hand, to the effect that your advice was very 
kind and considerate (evidently sarcastic). But more than 
that. Inside your letter was a small envelope, curiously 
folded and gummed and addressed to me in red. On cutting 
this open, I found my own little note to M. absolutely intact. 
My wife, who sewed it up, and other ladies to whom I shewed 
it, are satisfied that the stitching had never been disturbed. 
At first I was inclined to think that it had come back just as 
it went, but on cutting it open, what was the astonishment of 
all of us when I drew out a piece of Chinese paper with a 
curious picture on it, and some writing in red ink round the 
margin, with M.'s signature or rather cryptograph. The 
sentence began : ' Your ladies, I see, are unbelievers, and 
they are better needlewomen than our Hindu and Tibetan 
lasses,' etc. To me and my wife the test is as satisfactory as it 
is gratifying and astonishing. How did that Chinese paper 
get inside my note ? Not by any means known to ordinary 
mortals. I scarcely dared to hope for anything so good when 


I enclosed the note to INI., and I am very grateful to him for it. 
I am encouraged to enclose another note for him in the hope 
of getting a reply, but I do not make it any test. I wish only 
for information. But if he should see fit, voluntarily, to give 
me some additional proof of his ' miraculous ' powers (for 
with our received notions of matter this affair of the note may 
be so designated) I shall be intensely pleased. I am more 
than ever sorry that I did not stay with you a week longer, 
that I might have had a chance of seeing M., and perhaps 
becoming personally acquainted with him. When you 
mention the disappearance of my note to M., you add : ' To 
all my questions I received one reply: " Mind your business," 
etc' In what way were the questions made ? By mental 
impressions simply ? Or in actual conversations with M.'s 
double or projection ? And do you know Avhy M. took away 
my letter to you as well as the note to himself ? (that is, 
supposing he did take it), for by so doing your answer to me 
and his own communication to me, were greatly delayed. . . . 
My wife desires me to send you her very kind regards. She 
hopes to see you sometime. You say you trust she will then 
believe a little more than she does. But I think I told you that 
she believed the facts included under the term Spiritualism, 
and now she is quite satisfied with this test sent by M., feeling 
sure that by no known means could that piece of Chinese 
paper have been inserted into the note sewn up by her." 

I have in my hands many of the letters sent by the 
Masters during these years, some scribbled down on the letter 
requiring the answer, some independent. They came in all 
ways — by post, by sudden appearance on a table, in a drawer, 
falling through the air, etc. On February loth, 1882, a letter 
was seen to fall to the ground perpendicularly, in the open air, 
ten paces from Mme. Blavatsky's chair, and seven from the 
little group who saw it fall. Another fell in a railway carriage, 
containing Mme. Blavatsky, Mr. and Mrs. Oakley and Mr. 
Leadbeater, blaming her for what she was doing at the moment. 
But the instances are innumerable. The phenomenal delivery 
of letters was by no means confined to l\Ime. Blavatsky's 
immediate neighborhood. Dr. Hartmann tells us that a pair 
of pincers was wanted, and " remembering that I had such a 
pair of pincers in the drawer of my writing desk, I went down 
stairs into my room to get them. I opened the drawer, saw 
the pincers and a few other things in there, but no vestige of 
any letter, as I had removed my papers the day before to 
another place. I took the pincers and was about to close the 
drawer, when — there lay in the drawer a great envelope, 
addressed to me in the well-known handwriting of the Master 


and sealed with the seal bearing His initials in Tibetan 
characters. On opening it, I found a long, very kind letter 
treating of the identical questions, about which I had just been 
talking with Mme. Blavatsky,i besides giving a detailed and 
very satisfactory answer to the very question which had so 
perplexed my mind, and a satisfactory explanation of certain 
matters, which for some time had been foremost in my mind, 
but of which I had said nothing at all. Moreover there was in 
the same envelope a photograph, cabinet-size, of the Master's 
face, with a dedication to me at the back. Now, if I know 
anything at all, I know that my drawer contained no such 
letter when I opened it, and that there was nobody visible in 
my room at that time. The letter, giving a detailed answer to 
my question, must have been written, sealed and put into the 
drawer in less than four minutes, while it took exactly forty 
minutes to copy it the next day ; and finally, it treated a very 
difficult problem in such an elaborate and yet concise manner, 
that only an intelligence of the highest order could have done 
the same (February 5th, 1884)." ^ 

On the 17th March, 1884, Mr. Navatram Ootaram 
Trivedi, was at the Headquarters, Adyar, and wrote out some 
questions on a sheet of foolscap : " I wanted Damodar to have 
the questions answered, but he did not take any notice of 
them. At about noon I sat at a table, with Mr. Damodar 
opposite to me. This was in the office room downstairs. I 
read over to myself the questions that I had written out, and 
laid the paper upon the table. In a few minutes, while I was 
talking to Damodar, the paper disappeared, and I silently 
'remarked this, but I kept on talking, and in a short while an 
envelope was found lying upon the floor. It was addressed to 
me, and, on opening it, I found my own sheet of questions 
written over in blue pencil. The answers to my questions 
were full, and had been written close to each of the questions 
on my own paper. The handwriting was that of Mahatma 
K. H. Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott were then not 
at A(;lyar, but had proceeded to Europe, and were probably in 

Says Mr. R. Casava Pillai : " In the year 1882, while I 
was travelling by railway between the Allahabad and Mogal 

^He had broken off his conversation with Madame Blavatsky in order 
to go downstairs for the pincers. 

'•^ Report of Observations jnade during a nine months' stay at the Headquarters 
of the T.S. By F. Hartraann, M.D. Pp. 29-30. 

■^Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 6r, 62. The questions and answers are 
printed in the Theosophist for July, 1907. I copied them from the original 


Serai stations, a letter icll in the compartment of the railway 
carriage in which I was sitting. I was alone in the compart- 
ment, and the carriage was in motion. I had wished that 
Mahatma K. H. should give me instructions regarding a 
certain matter about which I was then thinking, and when I 
opened the letter I found that my thoughts had been answered, 
and that the letter was in the handwriting of Mahatma K. H., 
whose writing I know so well. Madame Blavatsky was then 
in Bombay."^ 

As Madame Blavatsky once wrote on the margin of such 
an account : " Who was the fraud here ?" 

When Pandit Bhavani Shankar was staying at Mr. 
Sinnett's house in Allahabad, in March, 1882, Madame 
Blavatsky was in Bombay. Mr. Sinnett one evening gave 
him a note addressed to the Mahatma K. H. The Pandit 
put the letter near his pillow, locked his doors, lighted his 
lamp, and was alone. Between ten and eleven he saw his 
Master astrally, and He took the letter. The next morning 
he found the answer under his pillow, addressed to Mr. 
Sinnett, and handed it to him. On the 8th of November, 
1883, at Bareilly, Pandit Bhavam was talking with a European 
friend. He had a courier-bag hanging across his shoulder, 
and during the conversation he received, inside this bag, a 
letter from his Master, in a Chinese envelope. 2 

Damoi.lar gives an account of various letters received by 
him, altogether apart from Madame Blavatsky. Towards the 
end of 1880, at Headquarters, some days after Madame 
Blavatsky had gone, he received from his father a letter 
about family business, which caused him much thought ; he 
wrote down the decision he had come to, hoping the 
Mahatmas would note on it whether he were right or wrong, 
and locked it away in his table drawer ; then, thinking that if 
he were making a mistake, he would be corrected, he opened 
the drawer and destroyed his note. The next morning he 
found in the drawer a letter from his Master in Hindi. On 
August 2ist, 1881, he was in Bombay, at Headquarters; 
Colonel Olcott was in Ceylon, Madame Blavatsky in Simla. 
One evening he was sitting near his bed, feeling very de- 
spondent because of family troubles ; he saw forming, on a 
little table in front of him, a letter, which proved to be from his 
Master. In 1882, Madame Blavatsky being in Darjeeling, he 
was sitting in the open balcony, thinking over an idea that had 
come into his mind. On this occasion he was not alone ; M. 

^Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 60, 61. 
'^Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 77-79. 


Coulomb was there. As the latter was lighting his cigarette, 
Daniodar felt a slight electric shock, and saw a letter lying at 
his feet ; it contained a reply to his thought, as well as some 
information to be sent to a brother Theosophist. During 
Madame Blavatsky's absence in Ootacamund, in July, 1883, 
various letters were received in the Shrine at Adyar, Damodar 
placing them within it and taking out the replies. He also 
received letters in the well-known writing before and after the 
coming of the Coulombs, away from Headquarters as well as 
in them, and notes written on letters from others, delivered 
into his own hands by the postman. ^ In all these cases, 
Madame Blavatsky was away, but the writing was identical 
with that of the letters so often received through her 

On the 1st August, 1884, Madame Blavatsky being in 
England, Colonel Olcott and Dr. Hiibbe - Schleiden were 
travelling from Elberfeld to Dresden by express. As the 
latter partly rose from his seat to hand the railway tickets to 
the guard. Colonel Olcott noticed something white lying on 
the seat ; it turned out to be a Tibetan envelope, in which 
was a letter from Mahatma K.H. in His well-known writing. 

Before dealing with the communications received during 
a short time in the famous " Shrine " at Adyar, it is necessary 
to describe the rooms which afterwards became famous. 
Madame Blavatsky occupied two out of the three rooms on 
the upper storey, opening on to a large hall. There was a 
sitting-room, which opened into a bedroom, and this again 
into a third room ; the wall between the bedroom and this 
third room was made of two partitions with twelve inches 
between them, lightly built, there being no support below, 
and with a door in the middle, the door being thus sunk in 
a recess. This third room was set apart for occult purposes, 
and was called the Occult Room. On the partition wall, 
loosely hanging, was a cupboard, originally over the door, 2 
in which were placed two pictures of the Masters, a silver 
bowl, and other articles ; the cupboard had a solid back and 

1 Ibid. Pp. 103-116. 

2 Mrs. Morgan, the wife of General Morgan, said : " I can state for 
a fact, that during my stay at Adyar, during December, i8.*'3, Madame 
Blavatsky took Mr. C. and myself and showed us the back of the shrine, 
and the wall she had built behind it, where there had been a door, and the 
people were welcome to inspect this and see it was barred and bolted ; 
yet she thought it would remove the least occasion for suspicion were it 
bricked up, and so had it done. The wall then presented a fine, highly 
polished, white surface. This wall I shortly afterwards saw papered, as 
I superintended the hanging of the paper." — Report of the Result, etc 
Pp. 99, 100. 


shelves, and was merely hung on the wall, so that it could be 
removed easily. This cupboard was called " The Shrine." 
The wall was smoothly plastered over, and various people — 
after it had been tampered with by the Coulombs — bore 
witness to the fact that at least up to February 17th, 1884 
— H.P.B. left Adyar on February 7th — it was intact. General 
Morgan states that he first saw the Occult Room in August, 

1883, when he visited Adyar in Madame Blavatsky's absence, 
and, probably in consequence of a remarkable phenomenon 
that happened on his visit, he examined the Shrine and its 
surroundings with great care ; he affirms that, up to January, 

1884, when he left the Headquarters, " any trickery was 

Colonel Olcott carries the date up to the 15th February, 
1884, a week after Madame Blavatsky had left Adyar. On 
the 15th December, 1883, he had been told to try a certain 
experiment by making some marks " on the spots of the wall 
corresponding to the centre and four corners of the cupboard." 
He removed the shrine for this purpose, and, having made his 
experiment, rehung it in its place. After the Anniversary, he 
went to Ceylon, returning to Adyar on February 13th, 1884, 
i.e., after Madame Blavatsky's departure, and leaving again 
to join her on February 15th. During this time he again took 
down the shrine in order to examine the marks, and at that 
date he found no hole in the wall. ^ It must be remembered, 
in this connexion, that no one has ever made the slightest 
imputation on Colonel Olcott's honor. He has been called 
a dupe, but never an accomplice. 

The testimony as to the nature of the Shrine, and of the 
wall behind it, is overwhelming. 

Judge Sir S. Subramania Aiyer, of the High Court, 
Madras, is perhaps the most highly respected Indian in 
Madras, honored alike by Europeans and Indians. He states 
(January loth, 1884), that he was present at Adyar during 
the Anniversary of 1883, and saw certain phenomena there on 
the 26th and 28th of December. " The room in question is 
situated upstairs. In the room is the shrine — a wooden 
cupboard, put up against a wall. It is not fixed to the wall, 
but only touches it. I have carefidly examined the shrine 
inside and outside, and also the wall against which it is put. 
I found nothing to suspect the existence of any contrivances 
which could account for what I saw. Inside the cupboard 
are two framed likenesses of two of the Mahatmas overhung 
with pieces of yellow silk, a silver bowl and some images. . . . 

* Report of a Result, etc. P. 102. 


I saw no room for deception, no wire, no springs inside or 
outside the shrine. I requested permission to examine the 
shrine and was allowed to do so. Not only did I not see any 
wire, or spring, or any contrivance, but I felt none when I put 
my hand into the shrine, and examined it." ^ 

Mr. R. Casava Pillai, an Inspector of Police, states : 
" When I was at the Headquarters at Adyar last January 
(1883), 1 went into the Occult Room five or six times. Of 
these, on four occasions during daytime. On two of these 
occasions during the day, there happened to come into the 
room several Theosophists from Southern India, who were 
desired by Madame Blavatsky on one occasion, and Mr. 
Damodar on the other, to examine the shrine and the walls of 
the room. These persons, after very careful examination, 
found nothing suspicious. The shrine was found attached to 
a solid wall behind, and there were no wires or other con- 
trivances which could escape the trained eye of a poUce 
officer like myself, who was watching close by." — R. Casava 
Pillai. 2 

A Government Engineer writes : — " I went to the Head- 
quarters of the Theosophical Society, at Adyar, on 5th July, 
1883. I examined the rear, top, bottom, and side planking of 
the shrine, as also the walls in its vicinity, most carefully and 
minutely, and found no cause to suspect fraud." — C. Sambiah 
Chetty. 3 

The value of the evidence of the Editor of the Philosophic 
Inquirer, Mr. P. Ruthnavelu, is great, because he examined the 
shrine and its surroundings before and after the missionary 
attack. He writes : " I witnessed a phenomenon (on ist 
April, 1883), a full account of which was published by me in 
the Philosophic Inquirer of the 8th April, 1883. I went up to 
the shrine with two sceptical friends of mine, and the doors 
were opened for me to inspect closely. I carefully examined 
everything, touching the several parts with my hand. There 
was no opening or hole on this side of the cupboard. I was 
then led into the adjoining room to see the other side of the 
wall to which the shrine is attached. There was a large 
almirah-^ standing against this wall, but it was removed at my 
request, that I might see the wall from that side. I tapped it 
and otherwise examined it, to see if there was no deception, 
but I was thoroughly satisfied that no deception was possible. 

" On 14th September, 1884, after reading the missionary 

1 Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 63, 64. 
9 Report of the Result, etc. P. 97. =* Ibid. P. 99. 

Anglice, wardrobe. 


article, I again went to see the room at 8 a.m., and was met 
by Mr. Judge, Dr. Hartmann and Mr. Damodar, wlio took 
me upstairs. On the other side of the wall, at the back of the 
shrine, I saw close to the wall an ingenious furniture-like 
apparatus, to which was fastened a sliding door, which, when 
opened, showed a small aperture in the wall. Inside of this 
there was hollow space, large enough for a lean lad to stand 
in, if he could but creep into it through the aperture, and hold 
his breath for a few seconds. I attempted in vain to creep in 
through the opening, and afterwards stretched out my hand 
with difficulty into the small hollow, to see the internal 
structure. Ihire was no communication with the back-board of 
the Shrine. I could see that the machinery had not been 
finished, and the sliding panels, etc., all bore the stamp of the 
freshness of unfinished work." ^ 

Professor J. N. Un walla, a Parsi gentlemen of high 
education and standing, bears witness : " In May, 1883, when 
I was a guest at the Headquarters, I had many opportunities 
of being in the Occult Room, and of examining it and the 
Shrine, and once I very carefully examined the Shrine at the 
desire of Madame Blavatsky, before and after the occurrence 
of a phenomenon that I saw. I can safely say, without any 
equivocation or reservation, that in the Occult Room or any- 
where within the precincts of the Headquarters, I never could 
find any apparatus or appliances of any kind suggestive of 
fraud or tricks." - 

I might add to these statements, but it seems scarcely 
worth while to do so ; they are already so conclusive. But the 
facts are important, as the first part of the Coulomb plot, and 
of Mr. Hodgson's Report, centred in and round the Shrine. 

A few phenomena, out of the many connected with it, 
may be put on record here, though it may be remarked that 
the Shrine was in existence but a short time, and played no 
part in the great majority of the phenomena connected with 
Madame Blavatsky. 

Of one of these. General Morgan has written an account. 
It occurred in August, 1883. Madame Blavatsky, then at 
Ootacamund, had asked him to look at the picture in the 
Shrine, as it was a very peculiar work. Madame Coulomb 
took him upstairs, and they went into the Occult Room. "On 
entering the room she hurriedly approached the shrine or cup- 
board, and quickly opened the double doors. As she did so, a 
China saucer, which appeared to have been placed leaning 
against the door, fell down on to the chunam floor, and was 

1 Ibid. Pp. 97, 98. 

2 Ibid,. Pp. 102, 103. 


broken to pieces. On this she exhibited great consternation, 
exclaiming that it was a much cherished article of Madame's, 
and she did not know what she should do. She and her 
husband, who had come with us, picked up the pieces. She 
then tied them up in a cloth and replaced them in the shrine, 
in the silver bowl, not behind it. The doors were shut, and 
DamO(lar took up his position on a chair right in front of the 
shrine, and only a few feet distant from it. He sat intently 
regarding the shrine, and in a listening attitude. I was not 
then aware, as I am now, of the fact that the astral electric 
current causes a sound exactly like that of the ordinary 
telegraph to be distinctly heard in the shrine. Unaware of 
this, I resumed conversation with the Coulombs regarding the 
accident. When I remarked, that it would be well if he got 
some mastic or glue and tried to put the pieces together, he 
started to get some, which, he said, he had in his bangalow, 
situated about loo yards from the house ; and I, turning to his 
wife, remarked : ' If the matter is of sufficient importance, the 
Mahatmas could cause its repair. If not, you must do the 
best you can.' Hardly had I uttered this, when Damodar 
said : ' There is a message,' and he immediately opened the 
door of the shrine, and took down the silver bowl (in which 
the letters are generally found), and sure enough there was a 
note, which, on opening, contained the following lines : 

" ' To the small audience present as witnesses. Now, 
Madame Coulomb has occasion to assure herself that the 
devil is neither as black nor as wicked as he is generally 
represented. The mischief is easily repaired. — K.H.' 

, " We then opened the cloth containing the broken saucer, 
found it intact and whole ! Three minutes had not elapsed 
since I had suggested that the glue should be procured ! and 
shortly after. Coulomb returned with the glue in his hand. If, 
he could have gone all round the upper rooms, got behind the 
shrine, removed the broken saucer, tied up the parcel, having 
placed a whole one in its stead and written the note regarding 
the repair of the saucer (my remark about which he had not 
heard), then, I say, his feat rivalled that of the Masters. 
W' hen I spoke to the woman about the wonderful manner in 
which the saucer had been restored, she replied: ' It must be 
the work of the devil.' " And, in fact, she wrote to Madame 
Blavatsky (13th Aug., 1883), that " I verily believe I shall go 
silly if I stay with you." She then gives an account of what 
had happened, and concludes : " I say you have dealings with 
old Nick." 1 

^ Reply to a Report 0/ an Examination by J. D. B. Gribble. By H. R. 
Morgan, Major-General. Pp. 14-17. 


Another case was that of Judge Srinivasa Rao, and he states 
as follows: "On the 4th March, 1884 (Madame Blavatsky 
and Colonel Olcott were at this time on the ocean, having left 
Bombay on Feb. 20th, for Marseilles) I, owing to certain 
domestic afflictions, felt exceedingly miserable all day." He 
went to Adyar, and on seeing DamoUar, said he wished to see 
the Shrine. " He conducted me to the Occult Room upstairs 
forthwith, and unlocked the Shrine. He and 1 were standing 
hardly live seconds looking at the Mahatma K. H.'s portrait 
in the Shrine, when he (Mr. Damo(lar) told me that he had 
orders to close the Shrine, and did so immediately. This 
was extremely disappointing to me. But Mr. Damodar re- 
opened in an instant the Shrine. My eye immediately fell 
upon a letter in a Tibetan envelope in the cup in the Shrine, 
which was quite empty before. I took the letter, and finding 
that it was addressed to me by Mahatma K. H., I opened 
and read it." ^ 

Judge Sir S. Subramania Aiyer bears witness to another 
phenomenon produced for the benefit of this same Mr. Srinivasa 
Rao ; he says: "On the 28th Dec, 18S3, I went to the Shrine 
at 10-30 a.m. Seven persons were present. The windows 
were open, and it was broad daylight. Madame Blavatsky 
gave the key of the Shrine to Mr. P. Srinivasa Rao, Small 
Cause Judge, Madras, and stood aside aiTiongst us. Mr. 
Srinivasa Rao opened the Shrine, took out the silver bowl, and 
showed it to all present. There was nothing in it. He put 
it into the Shrine, locked it and kept the key. About five 
minutes after, he was told by Madame Blavatsky to open the 
Shrine, which he did. He then took out the self-same silver 
bowl, and in it was an envelope well gummed, addressed to 
Mr. Srinivasa Rao. I saw him open the envelope, and found 
it to contain a letter in the handwriting of Mahatma K. H., 
and currency notes for Rs. 500." - 

Judge T. Ramachandra Rao and Mr. R. Ranga Rao went 
into the Occult Room : " We examined all very carefully, 
and the Skrine was locked. ^Ve did not, however, move from 
the place, and within half a minute, Madame Blavatsky told 
us to open it. We did so ourselves, and found the whole 
cupboard — where there was nothing when we looked at it half 
a minute before — filled with fresh flowers. and leaves. Each 
of us took a number of them, and we found that there were 
also some peculiar kind of leaves which could not be found in 
any part of Mac^ras, to our knowledge. We made a careful 

i Report of the Result, etc. P. 59. 
•i Ibid. Pp. 63, 64. 


survey of the whole room and its surroundings, and found 
nothing to warrant or justify any suspicion of trickery. 
T. Ramachandra Rao. 

" The phenomenon, as described above, took place in my 
presence. R. Ranga Rao.^ " 

Madame Coulomb, in consequence of her jealous and 
intriguing nature, had been a source of great trouble at Head- 
quarters, and was much disliked by the inmates. Dr. Hart- 
mann, who arrived at Adyar on December 4th, 1883, gives a 
vivid picture of her. " Imagine a weird witchlike creature, with 
wrinkled features, a stinging look and an uncouth form. Her 
duty was to patronise the servants, to nurse like a mother a 
decrepit old horse and several mangy dogs which were unable 
to walk. She seemed to consider it her special purpose of life 
to pry into everybody's private affairs, pick up stray letters 
here and there, that were not addressed to her, probably for 
the purpose of studying the handwriting ; she attempted to 
wriggle herself into the confidence of new-comers, and had a 
way of finding out their secrets by pretending to tell their 
fortunes by means of a pack of cards, while at the same time 
she would try to awaken the sympathies of strangers by her 
tales, how from a life of luxury she had sunk down to a 
position of servitude, and if she found a willing ear she would 
never hesitate a moment to insinuate that the whole Society 
was a humbug, the phenomena produced by fraud, and ' that 
she could tell many things if she only wanted to do so.' She 
would tell the aspirant for Theosophical honours kindly and 
confidentially that Colonel Olcott was a fool, who was led by 
the nose by Madame Blavatsky. If asked to explain herself she 
v/ould say : ' My mouth is shut up, I cannot talk against the 
people whose bread I eat,' and when she was told that occult 
phenomena occurred when Madame Blavatsky was a thousand 
miles away, she would say that ' She knew what she knew.' 2" 
It should perhaps be remembered as some sort of excuse for 
Madame Coulomb, that she was a superstitious Christian, and 
was really alarmed by the things that took place around her ; 
she, as we have seen, believed the phenomena to be "of the 
devil." On the other hand, it was paradise to her to live at 
Adyar in comfort, after all her troubles, and she could not 
summon up courage to leave her refuge : perhaps her treachery 
to her benefactors was at least partly the result of a belated 
and distorted conscience. The temptation to remain was too 

' Ibid. Pp. 68, G9. 

* Report of Observations. P. 25. 


great. Dr. Hartinann proceeds : " She had arrived at Head- 
quarters penniless, and had been taken into the house by 
Madame Blavatsky, out of charity, and been given full control 
over everything, including the purse ; and when she left the 
Headquarters she sported a large roll of bank-notes. (The 
household expenses at the Headquarters since the 
Coulombs left have been each month 230 to 270 rupees less 
than the monthly expenses during their presence)." Besides, 
there were many generous visitors, and " loans " could be 
obtained ; the failure to gain one of these led to the catastrophe. 
Prince Harisinghji, of Kathiawar, cousin of the Maharaja of 
Bhavnagar, was at the Convention of December, 1883, and 
Madame Coulomb approached him with a request for a loan 
Rs. 2000. The Prince evaded the request, saying that perhaps 
he would help her some day, and departed to his home. 

On February 7th, 1884, Madame Blavatsky left Adyar, 
and as she proposed to pay a visit to Prince Harisinghji before 
going to Bombay en route for Europe, Madame Coulomb asked, 
and was permitted, to go with her. After arriving at the 
Prince's house, Madame Coulomb renewed her attack on his 
purse, pleading that he had promised to help her, and the 
Prince complained at last to Madame Blavatsky, who 
promptly crushed the proceedings. Dr. Hartmann, who was 
present, remarks : " Her fury knew no bounds, and her 
passionate outbursts of anger and jealousy were in no way 
soothed down by Madame Blavatsky reproaching her for her 

unjust attempt at extortion A few tears shed by 

Madame Coulomb, with the assistance of a handkerchief, set 
the matter all right, and we proceeded to Bombay, where we 
met Colonel Olcott and Mr. St. George Lane-Fox, the well- 
known electrician, while Madame Coulomb went to visit 
some bishop and other clergymen, whose names are unknown 
to me."i Dr. Hartmann caustically remarks, that when 
Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky embarked, on February 
2ist : " One more sob, one more embrace, and Madame 
Coulomb, with red eyes and faltering steps, moved out of the 
cabin. Stepping into her boat, she waved a last adieu to 
Babula, the servant of Madame Blavatsky, and said to him : 
' 1 shall be revenged on your mistress for preventing me from 
getting my 2000 rupees ! ' " 2 The said Babula later stated : 
" When Madame Coulomb was leaving the steamer after 
bidding Madame Blavatsky good-bye, she, Madame Coulomb, 
said that she would be revenged on my mistress for preventing 
Harisinghji from giving her, Madame Coulomb, two thousand 

Ibid. P. 31. « Ibid. P. 32. 


rupees On another occasion, in Dr. Dudley's house 

in Bombay, she said that she hated Madame Blavatsky." ^ 
Major-General H. R. Morgan writes, as follows, about the 
Coulombs : " They were received by Madame Blavatsky, at 
Bombay, in a penniless state ; were befriended by her, because 
they had rendered her some assistance in Egypt. The woman 
Coulomb became a sort of confidential housekeeper, and, as 
Mr. Gribble truly remarks, was the cause of Mr. Wimbridge 
and ]\Iiss Bates leaving the Society at Bombay. By this we 
see she began her malicious interference early. 

" That malice is her chief characteristic I will show by the 
following : When at Bombay she tried to sell her knowledge 
of the Society to the Guardian, a Bombay paper, when she 
could have known very little, and when the correspondence 
now sold to the Christian College Magazine was not in existence 
nor the false phenomena which she now records ; it is evident 
she was, so long ago as 1879, prepared with fabricated letters 
and phenomena. At that very time her Machiavellian nature 
prompted her to prepare for the downfall of her benefactor, for 
she asserted to more than one Theosophist that she had never 
thrown away a slip of Madame Blavatsky's writing, and had 
been the lucky finder of mischievous letters blown to her 
feet by the wind ! ^^'hy should she have laid such store by 
these scraps when she was the possessor of the voluminous 
correspondence she has now so profitably disposed of ? When 
we consider the characteristics of this woman, her eaves- 
dropping, purloining of letters, her hatred of the members 
composing the Society, her swearing she would be revenged, 
her incessant espionage of Madame Blavatsky, and those she 
might be talking with, the motive and manner of her con- 
cocting these letters is not difficult to understand. Her malice 
carried itself to such an extent that she actually kept a pack 
of mangy diseased dogs to worry the high caste Brahmins, 
and drive them away. Her object was to have sole possession 
of the purse, and access to the purses of others, and when her 
little plans were frustrated by Madame Blavatsky, she hated 
her accordingly. 

" It may be asked why any single member of the Society 
tolerated her, knowing all this. The answer is — that she is a 
Spiritualist of the most pronounced character, is given to 
practising black magic, and is believed to be obsessed. Hence 
she was tolerated as a person hardly responsible for her 
actions. Added to all this, her habit of confiding her hatred 
of the Society and its objects, under the seal of secrecy, closed 

1 Report of the Result, etc. Pp. 133, 134. 


the mouths of many who would otherwise have exposed her, 
and have demanded her expulsion. Further, the exceeding 
kind-heartedness of Colonel Olcott, and Madame Blavatsky, 
made them overlook many of her faults, and tolerate her, — 
partly for her utility as housekeeper, and partly out of charity. 
It was only when matters culminated in the Coulombs being 
expelled, that members began to compare notes, and the 
exceeding cunning and iniquity of the woman became 
apparent to all." ^ 

This was the woman whom Madame Blavatsky, with 
characteristic carelessness — sure of her own honesty and ever 
too trustful of the honesty of others — left in charge of her rooms 
at Adyar ; but she had been sufiiciently annoyed by the 
Harisinghji incident to ask Dr. Hartmann to get rid of the 
Coulombs before her return. 

The threatened revenge was now prepared ; while Madame 
Coulomb was writing to Madame Blavatsky complaints of 
all at Headquarters, she was speaking to each of these against 
Madame Blavatsky, and dropping hints as to coming revelations. 
In sending to Madame Blavatsky an account of all that led up 
to the dismissal of the Coulombs from Headquarters, Damodar, 
the most trusted of the Indian workers, wrote on June 14th, 
1884, that during this time she implied, though she did not 
openly state, that "all phenomena were fraud, and that you 
were an impostor"; she dropped hints about secret passages, 
trap-doors, etc., she did not use these words, but implied them." 
" Her sole attempt was to sow seeds of disunion amongst 
us . . . she attempted to set one member of the Board against 
another, but ultimately failed ignominiously." The Coulombs 
would not allow anyone at Headquarters to go into Madame 
Blavatsky's room — which had always before been freely used 
by the staff during her frequent absences — and explained the 
carrying up of workman's tools by the statement that the roof 
leaked, and that M. Coulomb was mending it. Disgusted 
with the trouble they were causing, the Board of Control 
determined to get rid of them; says Dr. Hartmann: "Affidavits 
sent in by several members went to show that the Coulombs 
were guilty of gross misconduct, of lying about the Society, 
slandering its officers, wasting the funds of the Society, etc. 
We therefore concluded to impeach them in a formal 
manner." " While they were sitting with this object, however, 
the astral form of a chela appeared, and handed to Damodar a 
note from the Master K.H., addressed to Dr. Hartmann, 

■* Reply to a Report, etc. Pp. 3-5. 
^ Report 0/ Observations, etc. P. 33. 


desiring them to carry out reforms, but to be merciful to 
Madame Coulomb. They obeyed, and dropped the charges, 
and Dr. Hartmann remarks in a footnote that it was well they 
did so, as Colonel Olcott's work in Europe would have been 
seriously interfered with had trouble occurred at Adyar at that 
juncture. ^ For some time after this things went smoothly. 
A letter of T. V. Charlu's to Madame Blavatsky, dated March 
I2th, 1884, reports work as going well; Dr. Hartmann had 
been elected President of the Board of Control, Mr. Lane-Fox 
was to deliver two lectures in the Patchyappa's Hall, and 
several of the workers were going up to Ootacamund in April, 
including Madame Coulomb. He mentions the occurrence of 
two phenomena, two letters received respectively by Prince 
Harisinghji and Judge Srinivasa Rao. H. H. the Thakur 
Saheb of Wadhwan and Prince Harisinghji had been visiting 
Headquarters ; the latter had put a letter in the Shrine, and 
later placed on record what occurred. " I was at Headquarters 
very often during my sojourn with my friend H. H. the 
Thakur Saheb of Wadhwan at Madras, whither we had gone 
last March for the celebration of his marriage with the daughter 
of the Hon. Gajapati Rao. One day I asked Mr. D. M. 
Mavalankar [Damoclar] to let me put a letter from me to my 
revered Master K. H. in the Shrine. It was in a closed 
envelope, and was regarding private personal matters, which 
I need not lay before the public. Mr. Damoclar allowed me to 
put the letter in the Shrine. The day after, I visited again the 
Shrine in company with my wife. On opening the Shrine I 
did find my letter unopened, but addressed to me in blue pencil, 
while my original superscription, ' My revered Master,' had a 
pertcil line running through it. This was in the presence of 
Mr. Mavalankar, Dr. Hartmann, and others. The envelope 
was intact. I opened it, and on the unused portion of my note 
was an answer from my Master K. H. in His, to me familiar, 
writing. I should very much like to know how others will 
explain this, when, as a fact, both the Founders were thousands 
of miles away. Harisinghji RCpsinghji." ^ 

A few days after this. Judge Srinivasa Rao came, and 
asked to be allowed to sit for awhile before the shrine. 
Damodar took him upstairs and opened the shrine. There 
was nothing in it beyond its ordinary contents. He was 
immediately told by his Guru to shut it, and then to re-open. 
A letter addressed to the Judge lay within.-^ 

» Ibid. 

2 Report of Observations, etc. P. 57, note. 

" T. V. Charlu's letter. Judge Srinivasa Rao's own report has been 
given previously 


But this calm was deceptive. Colonel Olcott received in 
London an envelope, post-marked Mailras, containing a letter 
addressed to Madame Coulomb — then at Ootacamund— from 
A^yar, under date April 28th, 1884, by Dr. Hartmann. It 
expressed the writer's disbelief in Madame Blavatsky, and 
alleged that Mr. Lane-Fox had " received secret instructions 
from the London Fellows" to find out about her trickery. The 
letter was ill expressed and ill spelt, and the Colonel wrote to 
Dr. Hartmann, under date July 20th, 1884, that " I offset my 
personal knowledge of you against this blackguard note." He 
further said that he had put it away in his dispatch-box, but 
liad noticed that morning on turning over the papers, that the 
Master had written on it, and that He then told him to send it 
on to Dr. Hartmann. Dr. Hartmann remarks that the letter 
was in "a tolerably good imitation of my handwriting." Master 
M. had written on it: "A clumsy forgery, but good enough 
to show how much an enterprising enemy can do in that 
direction. They may call this at Adyar, a pioneer." ^ Truly 
was it a pioneer of the crop of forged letters published in the 
Christian College Magazine a few months later, and done by 
the same hand. 

Meanwhile warnings were being given at Adyar. " At 
about the time when the forged letter was written, I received 
a letter from a friend in Europe, and when I opened it I found 
written on the inside in the handwriting of the Master : ' The 
matter is serious. I will send you a letter through Damodar. 
Study it carefully,' etc. A few days after this a letter addressed 
to me dropped into Damodar's room at Ootacamund [Dr. 
Hartmann was at Adyar,] of which he took notice and then 
sent it to me, after showing it to Mr. Lane-Fox. It was again 
in the unmistakable handwriting of the Master. I submit the 
following extract : ' April 26th, 1884. For some time already 
the woman has opened communication — a regular diplomatic 
pourparler — with the enemies of the cause, certain padris. She 
hopes for more than 2000 Rupees from them, if she helps them, 
ruining, or at least injuring, the Society by injuring the 
reputation of the Founders. Hence hints as to " trap-doors " 
and tricks. Moreover when needed, trap-doors imll be found, as 
they have been forthcoming for some time. They are sole 
masters of the top storey. They have full entrance to and 
control of the premises. "Monsieur" is clever and cunning 
at every handicraft, good mechanic and carpenter and good at 
walls likewise. Take note of this, ye Theosophists. They hate you 

1 The Latest Attack on the Theosophical Society. Issued by the Council 
of the London Lodge. Pp. 17, i8. 


with the hatred of failure against success ; the Society, Henry, 
H. P. B., Theosophists, and, aye, the very name Theosophy. 

The are ready to lay out a good sum for the ruin of the 

Society they hate, . . . Moreover the J in India are 

in direct understanding with those of London and Paris. . . . 
Keep all said above in strictest confidence, if you would be 
strongest. Let her not suspect you know it, but if you would 
have my advice be prudent. Yet act without delay. M.' " ^ 

Madame Coulomb was at Ootacamund. M. Coulomb 
was at Adyar, nibbling at an offer made to him by Dr. 
Hartmann to go to America ; then came a letter from Colonel 
Olcott, dated Paris, April 2nd, 1884, in which he reproved 
Madame Coulomb for speaking against the Society and plot- 
ting mischief. Back from Ootacamund came Madame Coul- 
comb, Damodar and Mr. Lane-Fox ; a request from Dr. 
Hartmann to the Coulombs — still hoping to get rid of them 
quietly — that they should leave Adyar was met with a flat 
refusal ; Madame Blavatsky wrote that she would not return 
to Adyar unless the Coulombs were sent away, and the 
General Council was called to meet on the 14th May, 1884. 
The meeting was held and affidavits were presented to it 
charging : that Madame Coulomb had stated that the object 
of the Society was to overthrow British Rule in India ; that 
its objects were inimical to true religion ; that the phenomena 
were frauds, and works of the devil ; that she had attempted 
to extort money from members ; that she had wasted the 
Society's funds ; that she had been guilty of lying and back- 
biting ; that she had grossly slandered H. P. B. ; that her 
presence at Headquarters was mischievous to the Society. 
Letters showed that she had sent a black-mailing letter to 
H. P. B. M. Coulomb was charged with aiding and abetting 
his wife, and disobeying the orders of the Board of Control. 
Only the first three charges were tried, and Madame Coulomb 
neither admitted nor denied them ; the evidence was over- 
whelming, and she was expelled. M. Coulomb was asked to 
resign, and failing that was expelled, and both were requested 
to leave. After some further trouble M. Coulomb surrendered 
the keys of the upper rooms, and Dr. Hartmann, Mr. T. Subba 
Rao, Judge Srinivasa Rao, Mr. Brown, Mr. Damodar K. Maval- 
ankar and some others, entered the rooms of Madame 
Blavatsky, from which the Coulombs had excluded all save 
themselves. Then was seen the work on which M. Coulomb 
had been engaged. General and Mrs. Morgan had seen the 
wall intact, and Mrs. Morgan had superintended its papering 

1 Report of Observations, etc. Pp. 35, 36. 


in December, 1883, as already said. Now, on the side on 
Madame Blavatsky's bed-room a hole had been broken where 
the door had once been, and gaped there with broken plaster 
and rough ends of laths ; the wall, as before said, had been 
lightly built of two partitions of lath and plaster — as there 
was no support below — separated by a space of twelve inches, 
partly filled with projecting pieces of laths ; the partition on 
the side of the Occult Room was still intact, but it was evident 
that the aperture was to have been repeated in the second 
partition, and presumably the back of the Shrine was to have 
been made removable, so as to take out and put in objects. In 
consequence of the Master's warning, however, Dr. Hartmann 
had "acted without delay," and had stopped the nefarious work 
before it was completed. The hole in the partition in Madame 
Blavatsky's bed-room measured 14 inches wide and 27 high, 
" sufficiently large," says Dr. Hartmann caustically, " for a 
little boy (who was not afraid of suffocation) to crawl in." A 
heavy wardrobe covered this hole, and a sliding panel had been 
made in the back of this wardrobe ; the panel was new and 
very hard to move, yielding with considerable noise to the 
blows of a mallet. Three other panels, all equally new and 
stiff, were made in other parts of the two rooms, the purpose of 
which was not— and is not — clear. " M. Coulomb confessed 
to having made all these tricks, holes and trap-doors with his 
own hand, but excused himself by saying that they were made 
by H. P. Blavatsky's order. He denied having any secret 
understanding with Missionaries for the purpose of injuring 
the Society. He then turned over the keys to Mr. Damot.lar 
K. Mavalankar, who took possession of the rooms, and it was 
decided to leave all the holes and sliding panels unrepaired 
until further decision. It is evident that with very little labor 
those traps could have been finished and be made to look very 
suspicious, and we have reason to believe that it was M. 
Coulomb's intention to finish them before Madame 
Blavatsky's return from Europe."^ 

In the before-quoted letter of Damodar to Mme. 
Blavatsky (June 14th, 1884), he relates these occurrences, and 
says : " We have purposely left the hole and the sliding 
panels untouched. They bear on their very face the mark of 
your innocence. The passage behind the Shrine is so small 
that it is enough to kill a man of suffocation if he were to be 
two minutes inside. Moreover, it does not communicate with 
the Shrine. The sliding panels are so new that they can 
be worked but with force and difficulty, and moreover make a 

1 Report ofObsovations, etc. Pp. 35, ^G. 


terrible noise. This proves that they could never have been 
used before." 

The Coulombs left Adyar on May 25th, 1884, the first 
part of the plot having failed by its too prompt discovery. It 
was, however, to be revived in the future by the agent of the 
Psychical Research Society, and, owing to his misrepresentation 
of the facts, few people know that, admittedly at the time, 
none of these arrangements existed while Mme. Blavatsky was 
at Adyar, and while the phenomena were occurring, and that 
all traces of them had been removed before she returned. 
They were new in May, 1884, and still incomplete, the wooden 
hack of the Shrine and the wall on which it hung being still intact, 
so that there was no communication between Mme. Blavatsky s room 
and the Occult Room. All was shown to the numerous visitors 
at Headquarters during the summer of 1884, the wall and 
panels being left for a time as they were found. Mr. Judge, 
who came to Adyar on May 26th, thus describes the hole : 
" It was a rough, unfinished hole in the wall, opening into the 
space left when the old door had been bricked up. . . . This 
hole began at the floor, and extended up about 22 inches. 
From each edge projected pieces of lath, some three inches, 
others five inches long, so that the opening was thus further 
curtailed . . . the plaster was newly broken off, the ends of 
the laths presented the appearance of freshly broken wood, and 
the wall-paper had been freshly torn off." These facts were 
seen and signed to by over thirty gentlemen sent for by Mr. 
Judge as witnesses. Mr. Judge further tells us that, at his 
request, Mr. Damodar tried to get into the recess through the 
hole, but could not ; Mr. Judge himself tried and failed, as did 
a " thin coolie ; " finally, " a small boy about ten years of 
age " squeezed in, but found that he could not stand upright, 
for there were large pieces of hard mortar projecting from the 
sides. Mr. Judge then sent for a man, who " in my presence 
bricked up the aperture, re-plastered it, and then re-papered 
the whole space." And this was done, be it remembered, in 
the autumn of 1884, before the return of Mme. Blavatsky. 

In vain did Madame Coulomb try to make mischief out- 
side. She went to accuse the Society to the Collector of the 
district — her charge that the T.S. was against British rule was 
really dangerous — but he told Mr. Lane-Fox that the woman 
talked such incoherent nonsense that he did not believe a word 
she said : she was crazy, and he refused to see her when she 
called again. A Small Cause Judge remarked that the woman 
must be a lunatic to believe that anyone could be deceived by 
her tricks. The Missionaries failed to make any capital out of 
it. " Not one respectable gentleman believes her," writes 


Damodar, " but they on the contrary sympathise the more with 
you and the Society." So hopelessly failed had the attempt, 
that Madame Coulomb herself disavowed it, and wrote to 
Madame Blavatsky : " I may have said something in my rage, 
but I swear on all that is sacred for me that I never said fraud, 
secret passages, traps, nor that my husband had helped you in 
any way. If my mouth has uttered these words, I pray to the 
Almighty to shower on my head the worst maledictions in 
nature." Foiled for the moment, the Coulombs were not 
disheartened, and their second attempt was fated to be more 
successful than the first. M. Coulomb's writing was 
curiously like that of Madame Blavatsky, Major-General 
Morgan tells us,^ and the forged letter sent to London, 
significantly termed by the Master " a pioneer," indicated the 
line of the coming attack. In London, the Psychical Research 
Society, to some extent, apparently, impressed by what they 
had heard and seen in connexion with Madame Blavatsky — 
Mr. F. W. Myers having himself seen some phenomena which, 
he enthusiastically declared, he could never doubt — appointed 
a Committee to take "such evidence as to the alleged phenom- 
ena connected with the Theosophical Society as might be 
offered by members of that body at the time in England, or as 
could be collected elsewhere," and this Committee after- 
wards sent one of their number, Mr. Hodgson, to India to 
investigate matters on the spot. Meanwhile the Coulombs had 
been busy ; casting about for some way of improving their 
financial position, and furious with the Society, they 
approached the Missionaries — Madame Coulomb in the 
character of a repentant Christian — who had been carrying on 
a vigorous but unsuccessful crusade against Theosophy. 
Some twenty letters were oflfered to the Missionaries, which 
purported to be written by Madame Blavatsky to Madame 
Coulomb, in which the former lady unblushingly confessed to 
a number of frauds, writing to Madame Coulomb as to her 
confederate. There is some dispute as to the payment made 
for these ; soon after the publication, Prof. Patterson, of the 
Christian College, Madras, said in answer to a question of Dr. 
Hartmann, that they had agreed to pay Madame Coulomb 
Rs. looo, but had only so far given her Rs. 75; this 
statement was made in the presence of Mr. Judge, who 
published it in the Madras Mail the following day; General 
Morgan says that they paid Rs. 150 — the sum is unimportant. 
What is certain is that they bought the letters, and published 
them in the Christian College Magazine for September 1884, and 

1 Reply to a Report, etc. P. xvi. 


the following months. On the face of them, to anyone 
acquainted with Madame Blavatsky, the letters are forgeries, 
for they are the letters of an uneducated woman, whereas the 
style of Madame Blavatsky was brilliant, however familiar 
and conversational ; they showed ignorance of Indian titles, 
creating by an absurd blunder, a Maharaja of Lahore ; and 
they were at once recognised as worthless by those best 
qualified to judge. Mr. Lane-Fox, writing to the Times, 
stated : " As to the letters purporting to have been written by 
Madame Blavatsky, which have recently been published in an 
Indian ' Christian ' paper, I, in common with all who are 
acquainted with the circumstances of the case, have no doubt 
whatever that, whoever wrote them, they are not written by 
Madame Blavatsky." 

Mt. a. O. Hume, well acquainted with Madame Blavatsky, 
and not very friendly to her, wrote the following to the 
Calcutta Statesman : 

Sir, — I have seen an article in the Times of India, referring 
to certain letters alleged to have been written by Madame 
Blavatsky to Madame Coulomb, and your brief notice of the 
same. I desire to warn your readers and the public generally 
against accepting these supposed letters as altogether genuine. 
I can do this with the better grace that all connection between 
myself, Madame Blavatsky, Col. Olcott, Mr. Damodar, has long since 
ceased. I was unable to approve of many things in the conduct 
of the Society and of its journal, and hence, though still 
warmly sympathizing in its avowed objects, I have, for 
the last two years or more, been only a nominal member of 
the Theosopiaical Society. It is wholly without bias therefore 
that' I advise all persons interested in the question to suspend 
their judgments as to the authenticity of these supposed 
letters. I will not now raise the question as to whether 
Madame Blavatsky is capable of participating in foolish 
frauds, such as these letters would make her appear to have 
directed. All I desire to point out is this : Madame Blavatsky 
is no fool ; on the contrary, as all who know her, be they 
friends or foes, will admit, she is an exceptionally clever and 
far-sighted woman, with a remarkably keen perception of 
character. Would such a woman ever give a person like 
Madame Coulomb the entire power over her future, that the 
7vriting of such letters involves ? Or again, say she had, in 
some mad mood, written such letters, would she have come to 
an open rupture with the holder of them ? Parts of the letters 
may be genuine enough ; one passage cited has a meaning 
quite different from that in which I see that the Times of India 
accepts it, but believe me, Madame Blavatsky is far too 


shrewd a woman to have ever written to any one, anything that 

could convict her of fraud. 

,, c- ^ c . L oo )> Allan Hume. 

"Simla, September, 1884. 

Mr. J. C. Mitter points out the weakness of the allegations : 
" You will allow that the ' completeness ' of the so-called 
exposure of Madame Blavatsky depends only upon the 
uncorroborated evidence of one who, according to her own 
statement, was an active accomplice in the frauds, and who 
has been aggrieved by expulsion from the Society. A sifting 
inquiry should be made, and the evidence on both sides heard 
before judgment is passed, instead of passing our opinion on 
the statement of an accomplice of whose veracity very little is 
known, excepting that she herself was a participator in the 
fraud ! Why did not Madame Coulomb publish the letters, 
&c., she now publishes, immediately she had been ousted from 
the pale of the Theosophical Society ? Was she in need of 
time for preparation ?" 

Madame Blavatsky herself met the foul accusation with 
characteristic indignation and warmth of language : " I swear 
by the Master whom I serve faithfully, and for the sake of 
carrying whose orders I sufTer now, let Him curse me in the 
future birth, aye, in a dozen of births, if I have ever done 
anything on my own hook, if I have ever written one line of 
these infernal letters. I care not for the experts ; I care not 
for the missionaries, court, jury, or the devil on earth himself. 
What I tell you now I will maintain in any court before all 
the Judges of Asia, Europe and America. / have not ii)ritten the 
' Coulomb letters.'' And if the only person I believe implicitly on 
earth — Master — came and told me I had, then I would lay it 
at His door ; for nothing and no one in this world could have 
taken away the recollection of that deed — that idiotic, insane 
deed — from my brain and memory but Himself. So you had 
better shut up and ask Ilim. The idea of it ! Had I been 
such an ass, I would have never gone to Europe ; I would 
have turned heaven and earth to prevent the Board of Control 
from turning them out ; I would have returned home at the 
first intimation of danger. ... I suflfer for my misdeeds 
of centuries ago. I know for what I suffer, and bow low my 
diminished head in humility and resignation. But I bow only 
to Karma and my Master. I will never bow before the padris 
or the fear of them. You may publish this letter now, or when 
I am dead, to let them know." Again : " If you or any one of 
you verily believe that I was ever guilty consciously of any 
trick, or that I used the Coulombs as confederates, or any one 
else, and that I am not quite the victim of the most damnable 


conspiracy ever set on foot, a conspiracy which was being 
prepared for five years — then telegraph me where I am, Never 
show your face again in the Society, and I will not. Let me 
perish, but let the Society live and thrive." 

It is but a small matter, and yet significant : Would 
Madame Coulomb, as a confederate in fraud, have written to 
Madame Blavatsky, on August 13th, 1883: "I verily believe 
that I shall go silly if I stay with you," relate the Morgan 
incident, and conclude with, " I say you have dealings with 
Old Nick," if, at that time, she was a party to fraud, and had 
herself arranged the phenomenon, as she afterwards pretended ? 
If she were a confederate, she might well have kept up the 
farce before witnesses, but she certainly would not have kept 
it up between themselves in private letters, especially at the 
very time when, according to her, Madame Blavatsky was 
writing to her with such shameless openness. Such a gratuitous 
and objectless falsehood as the letter of Aug. 13th is not 
credible. The letter is quite natural, from a frightened and 
superstitious Christian ; it is incomprehensible from a con- 
federate in an impudent fraud. 

No one has ever accused Madame Blavatsky of being a 
fool, yet only a fool could have penned such insanely 
compromising letters, and then have quarrelled with the woman 
who held them. The commonest caution would have prevented 
such behavior. In 1889, I summed up the evidence on this 
matter in a letter to the Methodist Times (November 28th), 
and that summary may be reproduced here : — 

" Dear Sir, — My attention has been called to a letter from 
Professor Patterson in your issue of October 31st. My note — 
to which it is a reply — was called forth by your direct challenge 
to myself to investigate the evidence against my friend, 
Madame Blavatsky, and I had no intention of provoking a 
prolonged correspondence. It is clear that we are face to face 
with absolutely contradictory assertions. Professor Patterson 
says Madame Coulomb was not paid for the letters : Major- 
General Morgan says (pamphlet published in 1884, Reply to 
a Report, etc.) that the Scottish missionaries ' paid them 
(the Coulombs) Rs. 150 as a commencement.' Professor 
Patterson says every Theosophist who has expressed a wish 
to see the letters has been permitted to do so. Madame 
Blavatsky tells me she asked, and was refused; Mr. B. 
Keightley tells me he asked, and was refused, and that to his 
personal knowledge other prominent Theosophists met with 
the same refusal. I do not know Professor Patterson ; I do 
know these Theosophists ; and I prefer to accept their word. 
But my belief in the forgery of the letters does not rest on 


hese comparative trifles; it rests on a review of the whole 
case. On one side, a man and woman who had been expelled 
from a Society, the latter for attempts to extort money — four 
affidavits of such attempts are in evidence; a woman who had 
been prevented by Madame Blavatsky from obtaining money, 
and had vowed to be revenged — affidavit giving this threat; a 
woman who had attempted to blackmail Madame Blavatsky — 
letter sent by her ; a woman who had forged letters from Dr. 
Hartmanii and Major-General Morgan, and who, bringing a 
suit against the latter for accusing her of forgery, dropped it 
before it came to trial (the pretence that it was dropped because 
Madame Blavatsky had left is absurd ; what had that lady to 
do with the forgery of Major-General Morgan's letter?); — -a 
woman who, by her own confession, had been guilty of fraud. 
On the other side, the evidence of a committee, including Dr. 
Hartmann, Major-General Morgan, A. J. Cooper-Oakley, Dr. 
Gebhard, and ten Indian gentlemen of rank, learning and 
proved ability, who investigated every charge at the time, and 
declared each one to be fully disproved ; the testimony of those 
who saw the letters that they were manifest forgeries (see 
Report, 1885); the testimony of Mr. G. Row, 'from my 
experience as a judicial officer of twenty-five years' standing,' 
' I came to the conclusion that every one of the letters was a 
forgery' (Official Report, 1884); the parallel forgeries on Dr. 
Hartmann and Major-General Morgan, alleging their disbelief 
in Madame Blavatsky — forgeries at once denounced and 
exposed by them on the spot ; the internal evidence of the 
letters, such as the illiterate French, whereas Madame 
Blavatsky speaks and writes French perfectly, like most 
educated Russians ; the fact that Madame Coulomb was 
disgraced and expelled, and had everything to gain by currying 
favour with the missionaries ; the fact that the letters were 
published while Madame Blavatsky was in Europe, that she 
hurried back to meet the accusation, remained while the matter 
was investigated, and only left again when the accusations 
were disproved. (So far from flying secretly, she was assisted 
into the steamer by the Presidency Magistrate himself, and 
left at the peremptory order of Dr. Scharlieb, her medical 
attendant, who feared for her life if she remained in the Madras 
climate. She had not been called as a witness in the Coulomb- 
Morgan case, having no concern in it.) I might add to all this 
the oath of Madame Coulomb : ' I may have said something 
in my rage, but I swear on all that is sacred for me that I 
never said fraud, secret passages, traps, nor that my husband 
had helped you in any way. If my mouth has uttered these 
words, 1 pray to the Almighty to shower on my head the worst 


maledictions in nature.' Emphatic, very ; but I do not lay 
stress on an oath from such lips. 

As to Professor Patterson's final threat, let him publish. If 
any compromising documents existed, those who used Madame 
Coulomb can have no scruples which would prevent the 
publication. Madame Blavatsky is poor, a worn-out invahd ; 
she is not likely to go to India to prosecute him. 

19, Avenue-road, N.W. Annie Besant." 

Madame Blavatsky was eager to prosecute the Christian 
College Magazine for libel, but Colonel Olcott insisted that the 
matter was one for the Society to decide : " I have represented 
to Mme. Blavatsky that it is her duty to be governed by the 
sense of the General Council, and not to undertake to decide 
for herself. I have told her that she and I, having called into 
existence this important Society, are now bound to consider 
ourselves its agents in all things affecting its interests; and 
that we must subordinate, to the prime question of its welfare, 
our private reputations, no less than our strength and our 
means." ^ A committee was appointed, and unanimously 
decided that she should not prosecute ; she reluctantly sub- 
mitted, only half comforted by the vehement affection and 
trust shown towards her. 

Mr. Hodgson, the gentleman sent by the S.P.R., was 
present at this memorable Convention Meeting of December, 
1884, the Colonel, in the innocence of his heart, extending to 
him a warm welcome. Mr. Hodgson's appearance of friend- 
ship was, however, a mere pretence to cover his real aim ; he 
simulated honest enquiry only the more surely to destroy. A 
man entrusted with such a task as that confided to Mr. 
Hodgson should have, above all things, ability, honesty and 
accuracy. Unfortunately, for himself and all concerned, these 
special qualities were not prominent in Mr. Hodgson. He 
was a young man, very sure of himself, and profoundly 
ignorant of Indian ways and of occult facts ; later in life he 
became convinced of the reality of many forces which he then 
light-heartedly ridiculed, and of occurrences which he then 
regarded as impossible, and therefore ignorantly stigmatised 
as fraud. His evil karma had made him the agent for 
inflicting a great sorrow on a — in this life — innocent woman, 
and of striking through her a necessary blow on a great 
spiritual movement. " The Son of Man indeed goeth as it 
was written of Him, but woe unto that man by whom the Son 
of Man is betrayed," Mr. Hodgson had not, before leaving 

1 Ninth Report of the T.S., p. 12. This issue also contains the Report 
of the Committee. 


England, shown any specially brilliant powers, and he came 
to investigate super-physical occurrences among a people who 
regarded the English as unworthy to share in their own know- 
ledge, and many of whom, like Mr. T. Subbar Rao, bitterly 
resented the way in which Madame Blavatsky had thrown 
aside the veil with which they had covered their secrets from 
generation to generation. It is indubitable that he, with his 
English ignorance of Hindu thought and his English con- 
tempt for Hindu veracity, was pitted against the brains of the 
subtlest race in the world, a race, moreover, that to guard its 
holy things from the insolent foreigner will deny point-blank a 
belief that will be frankly acknowledged among sympathisers. 
I do not blame poor Mr. Hodgson that he was befooled to the 
top of his bent — it may have been more his misfortune than 
his fault — but I blame him for the prejudice which made him 
welcome every unproved suspicion or charge made by known 
enemies of the Theosophical Society, and ignore all evidence 
tendered by friends. His attitude throughout was not the 
attitude of the investigator, but that of the sceptic, searching 
only for proofs of fraud. Mr. Sinnett put the position well, 
after the issue of Mr. Hodgson's Report. He writes : 
" Nothing in his Report, even as it now stands — amended 
with the protracted assistance of more experienced persons 
unfriendly to the Theosophical movement — suggests that even 
yet he has begun to understand the primary conditions of 
the mysteries he set himself to unravel. He has naively 
supposed that every one in India visibly devoted to the work 
of the Theosophical Society might be assumed, on that 
account, desirous of securing his good opinion and of per- 
suading him that the alleged phenomena were genuine. He 
shows himself to have been watching their demeanor and 
stray phrases to catch admissions that might be turned against 
the Theosophical case. He seems never to have suspected 
what any more experienced inquirer would have been aware 
of from the beginning, that the Theosophical movement, in so 
far as it has been concerned with making known to the world 
at large the existence in India of persons called Mahatmas — 
very far advanced in the comprehension of occult science — 
and of the philosophical views they hold, has been one which 
many of the native devotees of these Mahatmas and many 
among the most ardent disciples and students of their occult 
teaching, have regarded with profound irritation. The 
traditional attitude of mind in which Indian occultists regard 
their treasures of knowledge, is one in which devotion is 
largely tinged with jealousy of all who would endeavor to 
penetrate the secrecy in which these treasures have hitherto 


been shrouded. These have been regarded as only the rightful 
acquirement of persons passing through the usual ordeals and 
probations. The Theosophical movement in India, however, 
involved a breach of this secrecy. The old rules were 
infringed under an authority so great that occultists who 
found themselves entangled with the work could not but 
submit. But in many cases such submission has been no 
more than superficial. Any one more intimately acquainted 
than the agent of the S.P.R. with the history and growth of 
the Theosophical Society would have been able to indicate 
many persons among its most faithful native members, whose 
fidelity was owing entirely to the Masters they served, and not 
to the idea on which they were employed — at all events not so 
far as it was connected with the demonstration of the fact that 
abnormal physical phenomena could be produced by Indian 
proficients in occult science. Now for such persons the notion 
that European outsiders, who had, as they conceived, so 
undeservedly been admitted to the inner arcana of Eastern 
occultism, were blundering into the belief that they had been 
deceived — that there was no such thing as Indian occultism, 
that the Theosophical movement was a sham and a delusion 
with which they would no more concern themselves — was 
enchanting in its attractions ; and the arrival in their midst 
of an exceedingly self-reliant young man from England 
attempting the investigation of occult mysteries by the 
methods of a Scotland Yard detective, and laid open by total 
unfamiliarity with the tone and temper of modern occultism to 
every sort of misapprehension, was naturally to them a source 
of intense satisfaction. Does the committee of the S.P.R. 
imagine that the native occultists of the Theosophical Society 
in India are writhing at this moment under the judgment it 
has passed ? I am quite certain, on the contrary, that for the 
most part they are chuckling over it with delight. They may 
find the situation complicated as regards their relations with 
their Masters in so far as they have consciously contributed to 
the easy misdirection of Mr. Hodgson's mind, but the 
ludicrous spectacle of himself which Mr. Hodgson furnishes 
in his Report — where we see him catching up unfinished 
sentences and pointing out weak places in the evidence of 
some among the Indian chelas, against whom, if he had better 
understood the task before him, he ought to have been most 
on his guard — is, at all events, one which we can understand 
them to find amusing." '■ 

After the competency of the reporter, his honesty is the 

1 The Occult World Phenomena. By A. P. Sinnett. Pp. 2-4. 


next point of importance. Was Mr. Hodgson honest ? On 
this, I regret to say, there is one convincing proof in the 
negative, a fact that I pubUshed in March, 1891, in a then 
well-known Magazine, Time, and which, so far as I know, has 
never been contradicted ; it is, in fact, incapable of contra- 
diction. Mr. Hodgson, in his Report, publishes a " plan of the 
Occult Room with shrine and surroundings (from measure- 
ments taken by R. Hodgson, assisted by the statements of 
Theosophic witnesses)." On p. 220 Mr. Hodgson says that 
" the accompanying rough sketch, made from measurements of 
my own, shows the positions." The reader will now see why 
1 laid stress on the fact that Mr. Judge had, in the summer of 
1884, bricked up the hole, plastered the wall, and then 
re-papered it; this having been done in the summer of 1884, 
how could Mr. Hodgson have made a rough sketch of the 
positions from his own measurements in the spring of 1885 ? 
It may be asked : " How then did Mr. Hodgson obtain his 
plan ? " The answer is simple ; Mr. Judge gives it. He 
says : " I made a plan of how it had been left by Coulomb, 
and that plan it is that Hodgson pirated in his report, and 
desires people to think his, and to be that which he made on 
the spot, while looking at that which he thus pretends to have 
drawn." All that Mr. Hodgson could have seen was a blank 
wall. I reprint here the comment I made in Time on this 
remarkable proceeding : " I venture to suggest that the 
pirating of another person's plan, with ' measurements ' of 
things that no longer existed when Mr. Hodgson visited 
Adyar, is not consistent with good faith. Yet the whole 
terrible charge against Mme. Blavatsky rests on this man's 
testimony. The Society of Psychical Research, which has 
taken the responsibility of the report, has no knowledge of the 
facts, other than that afforded by Mr. Hodgson. Everything 
turns on his veracity. And he issues another man's plan as 
his own, and makes imaginary measurements of vanished 

Thirdly, was Mr. Hodgson accurate, or was he hasty and 
slipshod ? A single instance will suffice to show the extreme 
carelessness with which he flung out accusations. Mr. Mohini 
M. Chatterji makes the following remarks on pp. 357-8 of the 
Report : " Briefly stated, the phenomenon consisted in my 
hearing at the same time two voices — Madame Blavatsky's 
and another — while sitting with her alone in her room in the 
house of the late Mr. Nobin K. Bannerji at Darjiling. ' Con- 
cerning this incident,' Mr. Hodgson says. ' I need only remind 
the reader of the hollow in the wall which was near the corner 
of iMadame Blavatsky's room. The confederate may have 


been Babula, previously instructed in the reply, and with a 
mangoe-leaf in his mouth to disguise his voice,' In regard to 
this hypothesis I, in my turn, need only remind the reader 
that the incident did not take place at Madras, where 
Mr. Hodgson examined Madame Blavatsky's rooms, but at 
Darjiling, in the Himalayas, months before the house at 
Madras was bought or occupied. What light is thrown on 
Mr. Hodgson's conclusions by this inaccuracy, after all his 
patient and searching enquiry, in which great attention is 
always professed to have been paid to facts, I leave others to 
determine." ^ — -^ 

The first point made in the Report is the presence of trap- 
doors, and other arrangements for fraud in the rooms occupied 
by Madame Blavatsky at Adyar. This presence is fully 
explained in the preceding pages, which make it abundantly 
clear that if — contrary to all the evidence — Madame Blavatsky 
had contemplated the use of these fraudulent means for per- 
forming phenomena, that use lay in the future, as these 
appliances were not in existence when she left India, February, 
1884, and were not completed and ready for use even in May, 
1884, when they were discovered. But if this be true — and 
the truth of it is abundantly proven — what becomes of Mr. 
Hodgson's detailed account of the elaborate arrangement 
by which a communication was made between Madame 
Blavatsky's bed-room and the inside of the cupboard — the 
Shrine — in the Occult Room ? He alleges that the top half 
of the panel at the back of the cupboard was made to slide — 
Mr. Hodgson did not see the cupboard, and Dr. Hartmann, 
who did see it and examine it, says it had " a solid, unmovable 
back,^' 2 and this is confirmed by others ; a mirror was hung in 
the cupboard to hide the line of separation — no one has ever 
mentioned this mirror, but there was one on a wall at right- 
angles, concealing another sliding panel, which was, however, 
visible in the hall outside ; a hole was made through the wall 
— this was never made, as we have seen ; next a panel in the 

1 The Occult World Phenomena. P. 47. 

2 "The so-called 'shrine' was a simple cupboard hung loosely to a 
wall in Madame Blavatsky's room, I examined it on this occasion [the 
evening of his arrival] and more carefully afterwards, and found it like 
any other cupboard provided with slielves, and a solid unmovable back, 
hung upon an apparently solid and plastered wall. However, as a door 
had been in that wall before, which, as Madame Blavatsky told me, had 
been walled up, and as a wall without any adequate support from below 
would be so very heavy that the joists upon which it rested might give 
way, the interior of the wall was not filled up with bricks, but was left 
hollow, leaving a space between the bricks of some twelve inches in 
depth." (Report 0/ Observations, etc, 1\ 12). 


blocked-up door was made to slide — this is presumably the 
hole made in the partition, the door having been removed ; 
lastly a sliding panel was made in the back of the wardrobe. 
If anyone went into the wardrobe, opened the back of the 
wardrobe and the panel of the door — with blows of a mallet, 
to announce his coming ? — he could slip into the space 
between the door and the brickwork — if a very small boy, who 
did not object to sufTocation — and then, through the hole in 
the brickwork, slide up the top of the panel in the cupboard — 
which would thus appear to the expectant letter-receiver in 
the Occult Room, and explain the blows of the mallet — and 
come on the back of the mirror — on the other wall of the 
room ; and push it aside. All this Mr. Hodgson learned 
from the veracious M. Coulomb, and from nobody else. If M. 
Coulomb had added that this was his plan, although he had 
unfortunately been interrupted in its execution, all would have 
been sufficiently probable ; Madame Coulomb had been a 
medium in • Cairo, of not very good reputation, and M. 
Coulomb may have acquired his carpentering skill and his 
ingenious ideas in her service ; the Coulombs may even have 
thought of utilising the Shrine — with its already high reputa- 
tion — for phenomena of their own, with the view of increasing 
their slender resources ; for Madame Blavatsky tells how 
angry Madame Coulomb often was with her, because she 
would never show any phenomena for money, nor produce 
them in a way to bring about gifts. Madame Coulomb could 
not see the sense of neglecting such an obvious way of filling 
an often depleted exchequer, and it is possible that the making 
of holes and sliding panels was intended for the use of the 
Coulombs only, with a view to extracting cash from the 
pockets of recalcitrant Indian Princes, rather than as an 
elaborate plot against Mme. Blavatsky. On the whole of this 
matter, Mr. Hodgson simply repeats AI. Coulomb; he is not a 
judge, but a mouth-piece of an accuser — a soi-disant accomplice, 
turned King's evidence. " M. Coulomb states," a " statement 
of IVI. Coulomb," "according to M. Coulomb" — such are the 
reiterated assertions. And of evidence of these frauds outside 
this tainted source— none. 

It may be worth while to complete the evidence destroying 
this part of Mr. Hodgson's case — or that of the Coulombs, as 
they are identical — by a statement made by Mr. Gribble, " the 
gentleman employed by the missionaries as an expert " in 
connection with the forged letters. After their publication, he 
visited Adyar to inspect the " machinery for trickery " which, 
it was stated, in the Christian College Magazine, " undoubtedly 
exists, and is admirably adapted for the production of the 


Adyar phenomena. Two theories are possible respecting it. 
Either : (i) It was constructed for, and used by Madame 
Blavatsky in the production of these phenomena ; or, (2) It 
was constructed after Madame Blavatsky's departure, in order 
to ruin her reputation." There is a third possibiHty, the one 
just suggested, that it may have been meant for the private use 
of the Coulombs during Madame Blavatsky's frequent absences. 
The first theory has been proved to be false, as the Avail and 
back of the Shrine were both intact after, as well as before, 
she left Adyar. The second theory, therefore, holds the 
ground. Mr. Gribble says : " I was also shown two of the 
sliding doors and panels said to have been made by M. 
Coulomb after Madame Blavatsky's departure. One of these 
is on the outside of the so-called (Dccult Room upstairs. Both 
of these have been made without the slightest attempt at 
concealment. The former is at the top of a back staircase, 
and consists of two doors which open into a kind of bookshelf." 

There was a book-case on the wall separating the Occult 
Room from the outer hall, and this panel was behind a mirror, 
hanging between the two parts of the book-case, with a shelf 
in front of it; this is probably the mirror spoken of by M. 
Coulomb to Mr. Hodgson, removed into the Shrine, for the 
sake of the story. To proceed with Mr. Gribble : " This 
gives the idea of having been constructed so as to place food 
on the shelves inside, without opening the door.''^ The other 
contrivance is a sliding panel which lifts up,- and opens and 
shuts with some difficulty. It is evidently of recent construc- 
tion. Certainly in its present state it would be difficult to 
carry out any phenomena by its means. Neither of these two 
appliances communicates with the shrine, which is situated on 
the cross-wall dividing the Occult Room from an adjoining 
bedroom." -^ Mr. Gribble appears to have been a \eritable 
Balaam, brought by the missionaries to curse their enemies, 
and blessing them instead. 

Surely, with this overwhelming evidence, from so many 
sources, opposed to the one statement of M. Coulomb, written 
down by Mr. Hodgson, we ought to hear no more about 
fraudulent phenomena connected with the Shrine in the 
Occult Room at Adyar. 

A final paragraph may be added on this part of the case : 

1 This idea of the good missionary -agent will doubtless recommend 
itself to Hindus, who are accustomed to having food handed into their 
puja rooms ! 

2 Probably the one intended for the back of the Shrine. 
" Report of the Result, etc. P. 103, 


the Shrine was not fastened to the wall, as we have seen, but 
was merely han^^in^ thereon and was easily removable. 
Would anyone out of Bedlam have concocted an elaborate 
apparatus for the fraudulent production of phenomena within 
it, and then have allowed it to hang loosely over the opening, 
so that anyone could peep behind it and see the opening, or 
might remove it and expose the whole affair ? Apart from 
this, Madame Blavatsky was surrounded with phenomena 
wherever she went, and the Shrine was only made in 1883, 
after she went to Achar ; she could only at most have used it 
for the few months during which she was staying there, and 
its presence cannot explain the phenomena which are borne 
witness to by reputable American, European and Indian 
gentlemen, from 1874 ^^ 1882. Moreover, the phenomena in 
connection with the Shrine also occurred after she had left 
A(,lyar for Europe. It is necessary, if the S.P.R. Report is to 
be credited, not only to condemn Madame Blavatsky as a 
fraud, but to condemn also the honorable gentlemen 
associated with her during all these years, as her fellow- 
conspirators and cheats. Even if they were her dupes while 
she was present, they must have become active participants 
in fraud when she was absent. 

Mr. Hodgson's second charge consists of the forged 
letters produced by Madame Coulomb, and alleged by her to 
have come from Madame Blavatsky. The only evidence for 
their genuineness is the word of Madame Coulomb, and the 
opinion of two experts, Messrs. Netherclift & Sims. This 
opinion is much discounted by the fact that Mr. Netherclift 
and Mr. Sims — in this matter of the recognition of Madame 
Blavatsky's writing — x'aried and contradicted themselves ; Mr. 
Hodgson submitted to them some writing which he thought was 
done by her, and was " surprised to find " that they thought it 
was not hers. When, however, this same writing was " re-sub- 
mitted to him " (Mr. Netherclift) he thought that it was hers 
"without doubt," Mr. Sims complaisantly changing his opinion 
also. The value of such expert opinion was well shown in the 
suit brought by Mr. Parnell against the Times; the Times had 
been duped, as Mr. Hodgson was, by a clever forger, and paid 
heavily for its trust in experts of the Netherclift type. Their 
evidence was proved to be worthless, and the forger, convicted 
of fraud, made the public apology of suicide. Mr. Montague 
W^illiams, Q.C., the eminent counsel, relates a case in which 
this same Mr. Netherclift and another expert swore positively 
to some writing as that of one man, while it was proved to be 
that of another ; he considers their evidence on handwriting 
to be worthless, and says: " In my opinion they are utterly 


unreliable."! Yet this utterly unreliable man, with his worth- 
less evidence, is to be held to outAveigh the great mass of 
testimony to the obvious identity of the writing in the letters 
received through Madame Blavatsky, and those received far 
away from her. Against Madame Coulomb's word and the 
worthless opinion of the experts, I place the evidence given 
above on pp. 17-20, and contentedly leave the public to form 
its own opinion. 

Mr. Hodgson's third charge is that certain letters alleged 
to be from the Mahatma Koot Hoomi were written by Madame 
Blavatsky, or in some cases by Damodar. With regard to 
this young HinJu gentleman it may be said that he gave up 
family, wealth, and friends and became an outcaste, in order to 
devote himself to ceaseless work and hardships of all kinds, for 
the sake of the Theosophical Society. He lost everything for 
it, and only gained— his Master. 

The gain, truly, outweighed a million times the loss, 
if the gain were real. But on the hypothesis that Damodar 
made himself a party to a fraud, postulating a non-existent 
Master, one asks oneself: "To what end?" The high-class 
Brahmana does not readily live and eat with Europeans, and 
become impoverished and an outcaste for their sake. Is it 
conceivable that he would suffer thus, in order to take part in 
a fraud which gave him nothing ? At any rate, he believed in 
the fraud sufficiently strongly to leave Adyar, when he became 
convinced that Madame Blavatsky would not return, to travel 
northwards, to plunge into the fastnesses of the Himalayas, 
and to climb over their snow-covered passes, in order to find 
the' hermitage of Him in whom he believed. Thus he passed 
out of the story of the Society, 

The before-mentioned experts varied together as to the 
authorship of the letters submitted to them ; first they said they 
were not done by Madame Blavatsky; then, this not satisfying 
Mr. Hodgson, they said they were. As against this variable 
opinion of theirs may be put that of Herr Ernst Schfitze, 
the Court expert in caligraphy at Berlin, who gave evidence 
on oath that the letter of Master K. H. " has not the 
remotest resemblance with the letter of Madame Blavatsky," 
and who wrote : " I must assure you most positively 
that if you have believed that both letters came from 
one and the same hand, you have labored under a most 
complete mistake." Mr. Hodgson has made a minute 
examination of the letters and thinks that she wrote them ; 
dozens of other people have come to the exactly opposite 

* Leaves from a Life P. 263. 


conclusion. Certainly, on the surface, the two handwritings 
are as different as any two could be, and when we remember 
the immense mass of such letters received through her, it is 
difficult to conceive it to be possible that she should have 
written these innumerable sheets of MS without a falter, in the 
clear beautiful hand so unlike her own by no means admirable, 
though characteristic, caligraphy. But the really insuperable 
difficulty which lies in the way of Mr. Hodgson's theory is 
that letters in this same beautiful and delicate script came to 
people in all sorts of ways in which Madame Blavatsky could, 
by no possibility, have taken part. Such letters were received, 
not by post, when she was thousands of miles away, and 1 
have given above a number of cases of such writing having 
been received where it was physically impossible that she 
could have had anything to do with it. These are the solid 
facts placed against Mr. Hodgson's suppositions. 

The airy and baseless character of his assumptions, in the 
absence of facts, strikes strangely on the sober reader. " It 
may have thus"; "it is probable that"; "it may be 
suggested " ; so and so " may have done " such a thing. 
These are the variations from quotations from M. Coulomb. 

The one really original idea in the Report is the motive sug- 
gested by Mr. Hodgson for Mrae. Blavatsky's alleged proceed- 
ings. Here is a Russian lady, of admittedly high birth and social 
position, playing the fool in Europe, America and India, to her 
own financial and social ruin, gaining nothing but abuse and 
slander, when she might be living luxuriously in high dignity 
in her own land. INIr. Hodgson rejects the idea that she is a 
religious monomaniac ; he admits that pecuniary gain was not 
her object, and discards the theory of a " morbid yearning for 
notoriety." " A casual conversation opened " his eyes at last, 
and he discovered the secret of her strange career : she was a 
Russian agent, and "her ultimate object has been the further- 
ance of Russian interests." This sapient conclusion is, 
perhaps, the best criterion of Mr. Hodgson's ability, the more 
so as it is partly based on a " fragmentary script which forms 
one of the Blavatsky-Coulomb documents " — in plain English, 
a torn scrap picked out of Madame Blavatsky's waste-paper 
basket by Madame Coulomb. 

Mr. Sinnett cruelly strikes down this great discovery in 
an indignant protest against the S.P.R. for publishing, "with 
all the authority their proceedings can confer, a groundless 
and monstrous invention concerning Mme. Blavatsky, which 
Mr. Hodgson puts forward at the conclusion of his report to 
prop up its obvious weakness as regards the whole hypothesis 
on which it rests. For it is evident that there is a powerful 


presumption against any theory that imputes conscious 
imposture and vulgar trickery to a person who, on the face of 
things, has devoted her hfe to a philanthropic idea, at the 
manifest sacrifice of all the considerations which generally 
supply motives of action to mankind. Mr. Hodgson is alive 
to the necessity of furnishing Mme. Blavatsky with a motive 
as degraded as the conduct he has been taught by M. and 
Mme. Coulomb to believe her guilty of, and he triumphs over 
the difficulty by suggesting that she may be a Russian 
political agent, working in India to foster disloyalty to the 
British Government. It is nothing to Mr. Hodgson that she 
has notoriously been doing the reverse ; that she has frequently 
assured the natives orally, by writings, at public meetings, and 
in letters that can be produced, that with all its faults the 
British Government is the best available for India, and 
repeatedly from the point of view of one speaking en 
connaissance de cause she has declared that the Russian would be 
immeasurably worse. It is nothing to Mr. Hodgson that her 
life has been passed coram popnlo to an almost ludicrous extent, 
ever since she has been in India, that her whole energies and- 
work have been employed on the Theosophic cause, or that 
the Government of India, after looking into the matter with 
the help of its police when she lirst came to the country, soon 
read the riddle aright, and abandoned all suspicion of her 
motives. Mr. Hodgson is careless of the fact that everyone 
who has known her for any length of time laughs at the 
absurdity of his hypothesis. He has obtained from his guide 
and counsellor — Mme. Coulomb — a fragment of Mme. 
Blavatsky's handwriting, picked up, it would seem, some years 
ago, 'and cherished for any use that might ultimately be made 
of it — which refers to Russian politics, and reads like part of 
an argument in favor of the Russian advance in Central Asia. 
This is enough for the Psychical Researcher, and the text of 
this document appears in his Report in support of his 
scandalous insinuation against Mme. Blavatsky's integrity. 
The simple explanation of the paper is that it is evidently a 
discarded fragment from a long translation of Colonel 
Grodekoft's Travels in Central Asia (or whatever title the 
series bore) which Mme. Blavatsky made at my request for 
the Pioneer (the Indian Government organ), of which I was at 
that time Editor. I will not delay this pamphlet to write to 
India and get the dates at which the GrodekofF series of 
articles appeared in the Pioneer. They ran for some weeks, 
and must have appeared in one of the latter years of the last 
decade, or possibly in 1880. By applying to the Pioneer 
printers, Mr. Hodgson could perhaps obtain, if the MS. of this 


translation has been preserved, several hundred pages of Mme. 
Blavatsky's writin;;, blazing with sentiments of the most 
ardent Anglo-phobia. It is most likely, as I say, that the 
pilfered slip of which he is so proud, was some rejected page 
from that translation, unless, indeed, which would be more 
amusing still, it should happen to ha\'e fallen from some other 
Russian translations which Mme. Blavatsky, to my certain 
knowledge, once made for the Indian Foreign Office during 
one of her visits to Simla, when she made the acquaintance of 
some of the officials in that department, and was employed to 
do some work in its service. 

" I venture to think that if Madame Blavatsky had not 
been known to be too ill supplied with money to claim redress 
at the costly bar of British justice — it she had not been 
steeped to the lips in the llavor, so ungrateful to British law 
courts, of psychic mystery, the committee of the S.P.R. 
would hardly have thought it well to accuse her, in a published 
document, of infamous conduct, which, if she were really 
guilty of it, would render her a public foe in the land of her 
adoption and an object of scorn to honorable men — at the 
flippant suggestion of their private agent in desperate need of 
an explanation for conclusions which no amount of pedantically 
ordered circumstances could render, without it, otherwise than 
incredible." ^ 

It was, as a matter of fact, part of the translation of 
Grodekoft's Travels, which Mr. Hodgson obtained from Madame 
Coulomb. This is the only motive that Mr. Hodgson can 
discover for the frauds of which he accuses her, and these, be 
it remembered, must have been begun in America in 1874. 
If the Report should live, through its connexion with the noble 
woman whom it slanders, surely, in the centuries to come, 
this charge of Mr. Hodgson's will be met with inextinguishable 
laughter, and men will wonder at the fully of those who gave 
any credit to this young man. 

Mr. Hodgson's Report was presented to his Committee, 
consisting of Messrs. E. Gurney, F. W. H. Myers, F. Podmore, 
H. Sidgwick and |. H. Stack, and these gentlemen, on June 
24th, 1885, announced their agreement with its conclusions. 
The Report itself was published in the December number of 
the Society's Proceedings. Mr. Sinnett comments very 
strongly, but not too strongly, on the utter unfairness of the 
Committee's action, and indeed it is hard to understand — were 
not history full of similar injustices perpetrated on those who 
are ahead of their time — how such men as are named above 
could lend themselves to, and lead their Society into, the unjust 
^ The Occult World Phenomena. Pp. g-ii. 


and cruel action of the publication of this infamous Report. 
Mr. Sinnett says : " I regard the committee of the S.P.R. — 
Messrs. E. Gurney, F. W. H. Myers, F. Podmore, H. 
Sidgwick and J. H. Stack — much more to blame for presuming 
to pass judgment by the light of their own unaided reflections 
on the raw and misleading report supplied to them by Mr. 
Hodgson, than he for his part is to blame, even for misunder- 
standing so lamentably the problems he set out naturally 
ill-qualified to investigate. It would have been easy for them 
to have called in any of several people in London, qualified to 
do so by long experience of the Theosophical movement, to 
report in their turn on ihe prima facie case, so made out against 
the authenticity of the Theosophical phenomena, before pro- 
ceeding to pass judgment on the whole accusation in the 
hearing of the public at large. We have all heard of 
cases in which judges think it unnecessary to call on the 
defence ; but these have generally been cases in which the judges 
have decided against the theory of the prosecution. The 
committee of the S.P.R. furnish us with what is probably an 
unprecedented example of a judicial refusal to hear a defence 
on the ground that the ex parte statement of the prosecutor has 
been convincing by itself. The committee brooded, however, 
in secret over the report of their agent, consulted no one in a 
position to open their eyes as to the erroneous method in which 
Mr. Hodgson had gone to work, and concluded their but too 
independent investigation by denouncing as one of the most 
remarkable impostors of history, a lady held in the highest 
honour by a considerable body of persons, including old 
friends and relations of unblemished character, and who has 
undeniably given up station and comfort to struggle for long 
years in the service of the Theosophical cause amidst obloquy 
and privation." 

He speaks contemptuously, with reference to the attack 
upon himself, made in the same Report, of " the whole 
catalogue of minute conjectures which Mr. Hodgson has put 
together in his Report, while abusing the hospitality which 
was extended to him at the Headquarters of the Theosophical 
Society at Ar'yar, and while leading the guileless representa- 
tives of the movement in Madras to suppose, that by opening 
their hearts and records to his inspection, by giving him the 
free-est access to their apartments and their diaries, they would 
best persuade him of the simple truthfulness of their lives, and 
the improbability that they were slaving amidst penury and 
self-sacrifice for the propagation of an empty delusion and the 
cruel deception of their best friends."^ 

1 The Occult World Phenomena. Pp. 7, 8 and 12. 


Needless to say, the issue of the Pvoceedings raised a storm, 
and for a time it seemed as thouf^h the Society would be slain by 
the blow. Not only the outer world, ever ready to believe 
evil, welcomed the idea that the superphysical marvels were 
fraudulent, but many of the members of the Society fell away. 
Madame Blavatsky writes : " Our Fellows, influenced by 
Hodgson and Hume, begin, or have already, ' lost confidence 
in the Founders.' Mistakes were made, showing that we 
are not protected by the Mahatmas. Indeed ? And the chief 
mistake is pointed out as being that of having taken in and 
kept for live years the Coulombs. ' How could the Mahatmas 
allow this, knowing they were such rascals, and foreseeing 
things, if They do foresee ?' is asked. As well accuse the first 
Christians of believing in Christ and His phenomena when he 
kept Judas for three years as His Disciple, to be betrayed by, 
and crucified througli, him. ' Feed even the hungry snake, 
without fear of its bite,' said the Lord Buddha. ' Help the 
hungry spirits (pisachas) ; never refuse hospitality to the 
homeless, or food to the hungry, for fear that he might thank 
you by robbing or murdering you.' Such is the policy of the 
Mahatmas. The karma of the Coulombs is theirs, ours is our 
own. I would do it over again. There are periods of 
probation for Societies as well as for individual members. If 
the latter have misunderstood the Mahatmas and Their policy 
it is their, not our, fault. The Masters will not interfere with 

Of all the accusations made against her the one that most 
wounded her sense of pride and dignity was Mr. Hodgson's 
dastard allegation that she was a Russian spy. She declared 
that unless she were allowed to sue him for libel on this, she 
would never return to India— and she never did. Mr. Sinnett 
— who stood gallantly by her through this bitter storm — 
printed in his pamphlet, The Occult World Phenomena, a protest 
from her pen. I give it here : 


" The ' Society for Psychical Research ' have now 
published the Report made to one of their Committees by Mr, 
Hodgson, the agent sent out to India to investigate the 
character of certain phenomena, described as having taken 
place at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in 
India and elsewhere, and with the production of some of which 
I have been directly or indirectly concerned. This Report 
imputes to me a conspiracy with the Coulombs and several 
Hindus to impose on the credulity of various persons around 
me by fraudulent devices, and declares to be genuine a series 


of letters alleged to be written by me to Mme. Coulomb in 
connection with the supposed conspiracy, which letters I have 
already myself declared to be in large part fabrications. 
Strange to say, from the time the investigation was begun, 
fourteen months ago, and to this day, when I am declared 
guilty by my self -instituted judges, I was never permitted to 
see those incriminating letters. I draw the attention of every 
fair-minded and honorable Englishnan to this fact. 

" Without at present going into a minute examination of 
the errors, inconsistencies, and bad reasoning of this Report, 
I wish to make as publicly as possible my indignant and 
emphatic protest against the gross aspersions thus put upon 
me by the Committee of the Psychical Research Society at the 
instigation of the single, incompetent, and unfair inquirer 
whose conclusions they have accepted. There is no charge 
against me in the whole of the present Report that could stand 
the test of an impartial inquiry on the spot, where my own 
explanations could be checked by the examination of witnesses. 
They have been developed in Air. Hodgson's own mind, and 
kept back from my friends and colleagues while he remained 
at Madras abusing the hospitality and unrestrained assistance 
in his inquiries supplied to him at the Headquarters of the 
Society at Arlyar, where he took up the attitude of a friend, 
though he now represents the persons with whom he thus 
associated — as cheats and liars. These charges are now 
brought forward supported by the one-sided evidence collected 
by him, and when the time has gone by at which even he 
could be confronted with antagonistic evidence and with argu- 
ments ^vith which his very limited knowledge of the subject he 
attempted to deal with do not supply him. Mr. Hodgson, 
having thus constituted himself prosecutor and advocate in the 
first instance, and having dispensed with a defence in the 
complicated transactions he was investigating, finds me guilty 
of all the offences he has imputed to me in his capacity as 
judge, and declares that I am proved to be an arch-impostor. 

" The Committee of the P. R. S. have not hesitated to 
accept the general substance of the judgment which Mr. 
Hodgson thus pronounces, and have insulted me publicly 
by giving their opinion in favor of their agent's conclusions- — 
an opinion which rests wholly and solely on the Report of their 
single deputy. 

" Wherever the principles of fairness and honorable care 
for the reputation of slandered persons may be understood, I 
think the conduct of the Committee will be regarded with 
some feeling resembling the profound indignation of which I 
am sensible. That Mr. Hodgson's elaborate but misdirected 


inquiries, his affected precision, which spends infinite patience 
over trifles and is blind to facts of importance, his contradictory 
reasoning; and his manifold incapacity to deal with such 
problems as those he endeavored to solve, will he exposed by 
other writers in due course, I make no doubt. Many friends 
who know me better than the Committee of the P. R, S. will 
remain unaffected by the opinions of that body, and in their 
hands I must leave my much-abused reputation. But one 
passaj?e in this monstrous Report I must, at all events, answer 
in my own name. 

" Plainly alive to the comprehensive absurdity of his own 
conclusions about me as long as they remained totally unsup- 
ported by any theory of a motive which could account for my 
life-long devotion to my Theosophical work at the sacrifice of 
my natural place in society in my own country, Mr. Hodgson 
has been base enough to concoct the assumption that I am a 
Russian political agent, inventing a sham religious movement 
for the sake of undermining the British Government in India ! 
Availing himself, to give color to this hypothesis, of an old 
bit of my writing, apparently supplied to him by INIadame 
Coulomb, but which he did not know to be as it was, a fvagmcnt 
of an old translation I made for the Pioneev from some Russian 
travels in Central Asia, Mr. Hodgson has promulgated this 
theory about me in the Report, which the gentlemen of the 
S. P. R. have not been ashamed to publish. Seeing that I 
was naturalised nearly eight years ago a citizen of the United 
States, which led to my losing every right to my pension of 
5,000 roubles yearly as the widow of a high official in Russia ; 
that my voice has been invariably raised in India to answer all 
native friends that bad as I think the English Government in 
some respects — by reason of its unsympathetic character — the 
Russian would be a thousand times worse ; that I wrote 
letters to that effect to Indian friends before I left America on 
my way to India, in 1879; that every one familiar with my 
pursuits and habits and very undisguised life in India, is aware 
that I have no taste for or affinity with politics whatever, but 
an intense dislike to them ; that the Government of India, 
which suspected me as a spy because I was a Russian, when I 
first went to India, soon abandoned its needless espionage, and 
has never, to my knowledge, had the smallest inclination to 
suspect me since — the Russian spy theory about me which 
Mr. Hodgson has thus resuscitated from the grave, where it 
had been buried with ridicule for years, will merely help 
to render his extravagant conclusions about me more stupid 
even than they would have been otherwise in the estimation 
of my friends, and of all who really know me. But looking 


upon the character of a spy with the disgust which only a 
Russian who is not one can feel, I am impelled irresistibly to 
repudiate Mr. Hodgson's groundless and infamous calumny 
with a concentration of the general contempt his method of 
procedure in this inquiry seems to me to merit, and to be 
equally deserved by the Committee of the Society he has 
served. They have shown themselves, by their wholesale 
adoption of his blunders, a group of persons less fitted to 
explore the mysteries of psychic phenomena than I should have 
thought — in the present day, after all that has been written 
and published on the subject of late years — could have been 
found among educated men in England. 

" Mr. Hodgson knows, and the Committee doubtless share 
his knowledge, that he is safe from actions for libel at my 
hands, because I have no money to conduct costly proceedings 
(having given all I ever had to the cause I serve), and also 
because my vindication would involve the examination into 
psychic mysteries which cannot be dealt fairly with in a court 
of law ; and again because there are questions which I am 
solemnly pledged never to answer, but which a legal investi- 
gation of these slanders would inevitably bring to the front, 
while my silence and refusal to answer certain queries would 
be misconstrued into ' contempt of court.' This condition of 
things explains the shameless attack that has been rhade upon 
an almost defenceless woman, and the inaction in face of it to 
which I am so cruelly condemned. 

Jan. 14, 1886. H. P. Blavatsky." 

There was one policy with regard to the Masters, the 
phenomena worked by her, and Their communications, which 
she would not tolerate : the attempts to separate the occult 
from the philosophical, and to evade the criticism and the 
hostility of an ignorant world by exalting the philosophical at 
the expense of the occult. To do this, she repeatedly declared, 
was to invite the destruction of the Society. She was bitterly 
conscious of the unfairness with which she had been treated, 
and of the way in which many Theosophists were willing 
to sacrifice her to the mob, while profiting by her teachings, 
and declaring that the Theosophical Society had its own 
foundation, and could continue to exist, even if she were 
regarded as a fraud. Protesting against this, she wrote to 
A(;lyar from Switzerland, declaring that while she was ready 
to sacrifice her life and her honor for the sake of the Society, 
it meant death to the Society if the manifestations of the 
Masters and Their communications to members were to be 
given up as fraudulent ; she quoted with approval those who 


" tell me that the T.S., minus Masters, is an absurdity ; and 
that I am their only means of communication with the Masters 
and for giving out Their philosophy — the Society, unless I 
work for it as in the past, is a dead thing." That the Society 
was only worthy to live, if it were a witness to and a channel 
for the Masters' teachings, was her constant declaration, and 
she only cared for it as an instrument for carrying out Their 
work in the world. 

What H. P. Blavatsky was the world may some day 
know. She was of heroic stature, and smaller souls 
instinctively resented her strength, her titanic nature. 
Unconventional, careless of appearances, frank to unwisdom — 
as the world estimates wisdom — too honest to calculate against 
the dishonesty of others, she laid herself open to continual 
criticism and misunderstanding. Full of intellectual strength 
and with extraordinary knowledge, she was humble as a 
little child. Brave to recklessness, she was pitiful and tender. 
Passionately indignant when accused of sins she loathed, she 
was generous and forgiving to a repentant foe. She had a 
hundred splendid virtues, and a few petty failings. May the 
Master she served with unfaltering courage, with unwavering 
devotion, send back to us again " the Brother you know as 
H. P. B., but we — otherwise." 

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